The wife of a Baltimore detective who was fatally shot with his own gun last November has rejected an independent review board’s conclusion that he committed suicide.
Officials had initially said Sean Suiter was fatally shot by a suspect during a struggle in a vacant lot in West Baltimore on November 15, but an independent review panel released a report this week saying the 43-year-old had actually killed himself.
The detective’s wife Nicole Suiter spoke publicly for the first time since her husband’s death nine months ago on Wednesday, calling the review panel’s suicide conclusion ‘outlandish’.
Nicole Suiter, the wife of a Baltimore detective who was fatally shot with his own gun last November, has rejected an independent review board’s conclusion that he committed suicide
Detective Sean Suiter’s wife Nicole spoke publicly Wednesday for the first time since the father-of-five’s death nine months ago, describing how her husband was ‘in a great mood’ less than an hour before the fatal shooting on November 15
Nicole described how less than an hour before the shooting, she had been joking around with the father-of-five.
‘Sean was in a great mood and happy spirit. We briefly joked about a video of him dancing that I took,’ she told WMAR.
Nicole said nothing about his behavior resembled that of a man preparing to take his own life.
‘I knew my husband very well. He wasn’t a coward. He wouldn’t have went out like that,’ she said. ‘He wouldn’t leave his family like this. He had no reason to.’
The investigation into Sean’s death is still open as police and the medical examiner’s office look over the report from the independent review board.
Nicole and her attorneys decried the report, claiming that it is full of lies and inconsistencies.
‘I’m just shocked at what is contained in this report,’ attorney Paul Siegrist said.
‘Multiple facts are left out of this report. They give undue weight to certain facts and totally ignore everything else. They don’t interview witnesses. They somehow arrive to Sean’s state of mind without speaking to his wife. This is garbage.’
Nicole and her attorneys decried the independent review board’s report released Tuesday after months of investigation, claiming that it is chock full of lies and inconsistencies
Detective Suiter was shot in the head with his own gun on November 15 in a high crime neighborhood in West Baltimore. Authorities initially ruled the death a homicide
Sean was scheduled to testify in court in a police corruption trial the day after his death, which the report seems to suggest could have been motivation for his suicide.
The report refers to Sean as a ‘subject’ – a loose term that could refer to both a witness or a person of interest.
‘Not only did the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the US Attorney’s Office say that Sean was never a suspect but was only a witness, but the second round of indictments that came out involving Wayne Jenkins and several other officers, showed that Sean was an unwitting part of their larger drug conspiracy and their planting of drugs,’ attorney Jeremy Eldridge said.
Nicole said she will continue to stand with protesters in Baltimore until she gets ‘the truth’.
‘Based on the fact that no one knew my husband better than I, I will not accept the untimely death of Sean as nothing other than a murder, which is being covered up for reasons unknown to me or my family,’ she said.
A makeshift memorial for the veteran who served in Iraq is sits at the scene of the shooting
Suiter was fatally shot in the head while investigating a 2016 triple homicide with his partner in a high-crime neighborhood in West Baltimore.
Former Police Commissioner Kevin Davis, who was fired by the mayor in January, told reporters last year that Suiter approached a ‘suspicious’ man in a vacant lot between row houses, leading to a violent confrontation.
His partner could be seen on private surveillance video taking cover across the street, according to police.
Baltimore police originally said Suiter had been attacked and launched a manhunt, but after no arrests were made they convened the independent review board earlier this year to look into the homicide investigation.
The report released after months of review says the bullet entered from the right side of Sean’s head, and that the detective was right-handed.
It also points out the lack of defensive wounds on Suiter’s knuckles, hands or arms, along with the presence of shell casings from Suiter’s weapon at the scene and the officer’s DNA inside the barrel of the gun.
A spokesman for the city’s medical examiner said Monday evening that officials would not discuss any cases still under investigation.
Nicole Suiter’s full statement
‘I understand that the public has been patiently waiting for Detective Sean Suiter’s wife to speak out and before now, I did not have the strength in me to do so.
‘However, with this outlandish presumption in hand I will not go on allowing anyone to shame my husband’s name and ruin his legacy with these false allegations of suicide.
‘There is no one alive who can convince me that the theory that this panel has formulated is the correct answer. Honestly I have the same views and thoughts as the majority of the community, and that is, my husband did not commit suicide.
‘I don’t make this statement as a heartbroken widow. I make this statement as an aware individual who evaluated every piece of evidence that has been shown to me, and with the knowledge that much evidence has not been presented as well as inconsistencies I have been told.
‘Based on the fact that no one knew my husband better than I, I will not accept the untimely death of Sean as nothing other than a murder that is being covered up for reasons unknown to me or my family. I have done the same research and investigation as many others, and although I have not publicly spoken thus far, please do not believe I was blinded by the lies or misleading information.
‘Numerous recounts of what may have happened have been speculated. What the community does not know is I had spoken with my husband less than an hour prior to his murder. Sean was in a great mood and happy spirit. We briefly joked about a video of him dancing that I captured. Who knew that would have been the last time I had spoke with my husband, certainly not I.
‘I will not sit here and say I’m an overly religious woman, but I am a Christian and I do believe in the power of prayer. And that is what has delivered me me through this toughest time of my life.
‘Losing my spouse and remaining strong for my children, I do not condone violence or war, but I will openly stand with protestors [sic] from Baltimore City and around the world to fight for justice.
‘Sean did not deserve to die in this manner, and no one deserves to get away with this. Please continue to pray for my family, uplift us with prayer, for strength and sanity as we seek justice for Sean. Thank you all for the outpour of love and concern.’
Full statement provided by WMAR