BALTIMORE (WJZ/AP)– Investigators recovered the gun of a slain Baltimore homicide detective from the gritty lot where he was shot, and have determined that it was fired more than once, a top police official said Friday.
Ballistic tests show that recovered shell casings were matched to the recovered firearm, Commissioner Kevin Davis told a news conference at police headquarters. When asked if it was possible that the officer was shot with his own gun, Davis said authorities are “looking at every possibility.”
“We only recovered one gun from the scene. That doesn’t mean that there wasn’t a second gun,” Davis said.
An autopsy has not been completed for Sean Suiter, an 18-year veteran of the department, the commissioner said. Suiter, 43, died at a hospital Thursday, less than 24 hours after he was shot in the head while working on a case in West Baltimore, a rough neighborhood of vacant lots and boarded-up row houses.
A vigorous manhunt and a hefty reward of $215,000 has not led to any arrests. But Davis said tips are steadily coming in and detectives are following leads. Baltimore investigators are being assisted by federal agents.
Davis said the shooter, who investigators suspect was wounded in the confrontation with Suiter, is likely in Baltimore. Police plan on keeping blocks of the West Baltimore neighborhood where the shooting happened cordoned off through the weekend because evidence is leading detectives to conduct searches there.
Officials say Suiter was a Washington, D.C, native who lived with his family in York, Pennsylvania, about an hour’s commute from Baltimore.
With a staggering homicide rate, attacks in some of the City’s safest neighborhoods and now with the brazen killing of a police detective, many wonder if this is the tipping point.
Detective Sean Suiter was gunned down in the violent Harlem Park area. Constant crime over the years has left some numb.
“The time is now, unless you want to be a prisoner in your home for the rest of your life, that’s what going to happen,” Dr. Rev. Andre Humphrey said. “It’s a tragedy, when people have no regard to killing law enforcement. I think this is tip of the iceberg, breaking point. The breaking point is when people become sick and tired of being sick and tired of being sick and tired.”
“It’s getting out of control,” West Baltimore resident David Matthews said. “The tipping point should’ve been back at 50 kills, not 300.”
“I lost friends in Bennett Place, lost friends on Harlem, I’ve lost friends around the city,” one West Baltimore resident said.
“It’s nothing new, nothing I haven’t seen, nothing I haven’t heard,” Orlando Brown said.
“If they don’t wake up from this, nothing will wake them up,” Dr. Humphrey said.