BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Despite Baltimore City Police Commissioner Michael Harrison’s insistence that Detective Sean Suiter committed suicide and the investigation into his death is closed, Baltimore’s top prosecutor said the case is not over.
“What I can tell you is it is still an open and pending matter,” Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said Thursday.
She would not answer questions about the Suiter probe. “I can’t comment on open and pending matters,” Mosby told reporters.
The state medical examiner still lists the detective’s death in the line of duty as a homicide.
The Baltimore Police Department said Wednesday his death has been ruled a suicide and the case is closed, following a Maryland State Police report.
The department said they found nothing in the report to suggest Suiter’s death was anything other than a suicide.
In a statement, Commissioner Michael Harrison said:
“I have received the Maryland State Police report regarding their review of the investigation into Det. Sean Suiter’s death. There is nothing in the report to suggest that Det. Suiter’s death was anything other than a suicide, nor was there any suggestion that the case should be re-investigated or continued.
“Given that, and given similar findings by last year’s independent review board, BPD’s investigation into Det. Suiter’s death is now closed. Regardless of the circumstances, Det. Suiter’s death was a tragedy and we will continue to keep him and his family in our thoughts and prayers. Finally, I want to thank Superintendent William Pallozzi and every member of the State Police who worked on the report for their commitment to bringing closure in this case.”
State police did not look at any new evidence but focused the work of the Independent Review Board—a panel of police experts that determined more than a year ago the death was a suicide.
“Lord knows what was going on in his mind—and we can try as hard as we want—we might find a out a few other things, but we’ll never know everything,” IRB member James “Chip” Coldren said last August. “It’s the facts that we found that brought us to this conclusion.”
Suiter was investigating a triple murder case in the Harlem Park neighborhood of the city when police said Suiter got into a violent struggle with a suspect, who then took Suiter’s service weapon and fatally shot him.
It happened the day before he was set to testify before a grand jury in a massive federal case into Baltimore police corruption involving the Gun Trace Task Force.
His family does not believe he took his own life.
“How many times are you going to kill my husband,” said Suiter’s widow Nicole. “We’re ready for war.”
The family is launching its own investigation.
“We’re going to be asking for every document, every interview, every recording,” Suiter family attorney Jeremy Eldridge said this week. “And they better damn well give it to us because if you’re going to hide behind the investigation being closed, you better turn over the goods.”
Eldridge said his client was not a target of the GTTF investigation.
“We weren’t worried about him being prosecuted,” he said.