BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh said she is not sure whether Det. Sean Suiter was murdered in a press conference Wednesday.
She said since the funeral, she has advocated for an extra set of eyes on the unsolved case.
“I have no idea. I’m not a detective,” Pugh said. “That’s why–I mean–we’re still investigating.”
Suiter was shot with his own weapon on Nov. 15 while investigating a gang-related triple murder in West Baltimore’s Harlem Park neighborhood.
Suiter died the day before his scheduled testimony in a police corruption investigation. He was set to testify in the case of Sergeant Wayne Jenkins, one of the former heads of the elite Gun Trace Task Force, who faces 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to racketeering charges.
The mayor said it was her idea to have an outside agency look at the case. In December, the FBI rejected the City’s request to do so.
“I was the one who went over to the police department and said that you all need to bring the FBI into this case,” she added. “Police investigating a police shooting, should be done by someone from the outside.”
Commissioner Darryl De Sousa told the Baltimore Sun it was unfair to have homicide detectives investigate Suiter’s death from the start. Even though they’re capable because of their close ties to him.
De Sousa is considering removing BPD homicide as lead investigators but has not said who would take over, whether it’s the independent investigative body he is creating.
“The mandate for them is to take a look at this case; come up with findings, come up with recommendations,” he said last week.
The former commissioner, Kevin Davis, who was fired in January, said in a new statement, he has confidence in the homicide unit.
“There is no one better equipped to handle this case. BPD homicide detectives possess far too much pride and professionalism to allow emotion to be the enemy of their investigative prowess and integrity. To now suggest otherwise is pure political spin.”
Police have considered the theory that Suiter took his own life but former commissioner Davis said there was no evidence that he committed suicide.
The medical examiner has ruled Suiter’s death a homicide.