The search for Detective Sean Suiter's killer entered its fourth day Saturday as the officer's body was escorted by police from Maryland Shock Trauma to the medical examiner's office. (Karl Merton Ferron, Justin Fenton / Baltimore Sun video)
The word came that the procession was about to begin, and the officers — standing in two lines facing each other outside Maryland Shock Trauma Center — snapped to attention and saluted.
As a light rain began to fall Saturday afternoon, the motorcade pulled through to take the body of Detective Sean Suiter to the nearby Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
The search for Suiter's killer entered its fourth day Saturday, and police hope an autopsy may be able to provide more clues in a case that has generated more than $215,000 in reward money but not enough evidence to pinpoint a suspect.
Mayor Catherine E. Pugh and Police Commissioner Kevin Davis were among those who arrived at Shock Trauma to escort Suiter's body.
Suit-wearing homicide detectives gathered on the east side of Penn Street, outside the main entrance to the trauma center, while dozens of uniformed officers gathered on the west side.
At 2:38 p.m., the uniformed detectives began filing into the hospital. Inside, they lined the hallway as Suiter's body was brought through, draped in a flag.
A police motorcycle led the way, followed by the medical examiner's vehicle and cars that appeared to be carrying Suiter's family. The 43-year-old is survived by a wife and five children.
Outside, cars slowed and passersby stopped to watch.
"Those guys, they put their lives on the line. Just figured I'd stop, show respect," said one man who had been leaving a nearby gym when he stopped to observe.
Police have said they are receiving leads in the investigation, but have not identified a suspect or released a detailed suspect description. There have been no surveillance images released, and the immediate area in West Baltimore's Harlem Park neighborhood where the shooting occurred remained locked down Saturday.
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Davis said Friday that police need to maintain the integrity of the crime scene in the event that new leads develop. He pointed to Suiter's autopsy as a step that could illuminate new clues, requiring police to re-examine the scene.
Tactical operations were expected to continue through the weekend in the neighborhood where the officer was shot once in the head about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, police said. He was pronounced dead Thursday.
Davis confirmed Friday that “more than one” shot was fired from Suiter’s service weapon, which was recovered from the scene. Police have not ruled out the possibility that the veteran officer was killed with his own gun.
Police have said Suiter was conducting a follow-up investigation on a triple homicide in the 900 block of Bennett Place when he saw someone acting suspiciously in a vacant lot and approached.
A reward that includes contributions from Metro Crime Stoppers, and local, state, and federal agencies, grew by another $25,000 overnight Friday. It was not disclosed where the latest contribution came from.