Baltimore Officer Shot in Head Has Died; Manhunt Underway

Baltimore homicide detective Sean Suiter, who was shot on the job Wednesday, has died, police announced Thursday. The manhunt for the shooter is ongoing.

Suiter was an 18-year veteran of the Baltimore Police Department. He was 43. 

Suiter died surrounded by his family, including his wife and five children, police said.

"They're all suffering," Mayor Catherine Pugh said. "Out hearts and prayers go out to all the families who suffered violence in this city."

Suiter was shot in the head while working in an area of the city grappling with high crime rates. 

Before the shooting, Suiter was investigating a 2016 homicide with a partner in the Bennett Street area, dressed in a typical detective's uniform: a suit with a tie and clearly displayed badge, police said.

The detective approached a man who was acting suspicious and started talking to him, police said. A confrontation ensued, and the shooter fired at Suiter, hitting him in the head, police said.


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Police cordoned off streets in the West Baltimore area and a tactical unit combed alleyways searching for a shooter. Numerous cruisers responded and a police helicopter buzzed overhead, illuminating streets below with a searchlight. The neighborhood has a number of vacant row houses. 

Dr. Thomas Scalea, chief of the University of Maryland Medical Center's Shock Trauma Center, said previously that the injured officer was on life support in the intensive care unit. 

"We are doing everything we can to keep him stabilized and to take care of the injury to his brain,'' he said, flanked by Davis and Pugh. 

Outside the hospital where the gravely wounded detective was fighting for his life Wednesday night, Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said a manhunt was underway for a "cold, callous" gunman who shot the detective who was "just doing his job." 

"This is a dangerous profession. This is a dangerous job. Police officers know that at any given time they could confront someone who wants to do them harm, and that's exactly what happened tonight," Davis said, adding that it would be a "long night" for investigators seeking "every bit of evidence." 

"We will find the person responsible for the ridiculous, absurd, unnecessary loss of life," Davis said after Suiter's death.

Police also announced a $69,000 reward for information leading to the capture of Suiter's killer. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced Thursday the state is offering a $100,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction.

Davis said, "It shouldn't take 69 cents" to catch the killer.

T.J. Smith, a spokesperson for the police department, said later Thursday that some people were trying to capitalize off of the tragedy.

"The Suiter family HAS NOT set up a Go Fund Me page. Any pages that are purportedly for Det. Suiter are fake. Thank you all for your continued prayers and support. Confirmed w/ family," Smith tweeted.

Wednesday's shooting of the police officer comes amid a particularly violent period in Baltimore: So far this year, the city of roughly 620,000 inhabitants has seen more than 300 homicides. 

Pugh called for a halt to the violence - a frequently repeated refrain in Baltimore. 

"We are praying for peace in our streets. And I can say to you all again and again: Enough is enough. Crime has to come to an end in this city. This kind of violence cannot be tolerated,'' she said.

The Associated Press said this is the second shooting of an law enforcement officer in West Baltimore this month.

An off-duty D.C. police officer, Sgt. Tony Mason Jr., was shot and killed in Baltimore on Nov. 4.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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