Slain Baltimore Detective Likely Killed Himself: Review Board

An end to the 'real-life whodunit' case of Sean Suiter
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 29, 2018 12:34 PM CDT
Slain Baltimore Detective Likely Killed Himself: Review Board
FILE - In this Nov. 27, 2017, file photo, a makeshift memorial sits in an alley where Baltimore Police Detective Sean Suiter was shot while investigating a 2016 triple homicide in Baltimore. The gunshot wound that killed Suiter one day before he was to testify about police corruption was most likely...   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

The gunshot wound that killed a Baltimore police detective one day before he was to testify about police corruption was most likely self-inflicted, an investigative review board has concluded. It's the latest—and perhaps final—twist in a real-life whodunit that has captivated Baltimore for 10 months. When 43-year-old Detective Sean Suiter was found in November dying from a bullet wound to the skull in a derelict lot, police and the state medical examiner's office swiftly called his death a homicide. But from the start, there was widespread skepticism about the police version of events, the AP reports: Suiter supposedly approached a suspicious man in a vacant lot between row houses, leading to a violent confrontation in which he was shot at close range with his own gun. Nobody has ever been charged in his death.

In their 207-page final report, a seven-member independent review board says all the evidence they've reviewed "simply does not support anyone other than Detective Suiter himself firing the fatal shot." Among the evidence they cite: The gun barrel was in contact with Suiter's head when the fatal shot was fired. Nobody else's DNA was found on his service weapon. Blood spatter was found on the inside of the right-handed detective's right arm's shirt cuff, indicating his hand and arm were in a high position when the fatal gunshot was fired. They also say the autopsy revealed no defensive wounds to support the narrative that a violent struggle had taken place with an assailant. His left hand was still clutching his police radio. After his death, allegations began surfacing about Suiter's allegedly shady past; before his death he had been served with a subpoena to appear before the grand jury investigating police corruption.

(More Baltimore stories.)

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