How Gun That Killed MD Cop Slipped Through Police Hands


The investigation into who killed Baltimore Detective Troy Chesley moved quickly, says the Baltimore Sun. Soon after his death, police found a suspect, witnesses and the weapon used in the killing – a Sig Sauer handgun customized with a laser targeting system. Police later learned disturbing news: The gun used to kill Chesley had slipped through their hands -twice. It was one of eight weapons seized by police in a 2001 firearms investigation but returned to the owner when the case fell apart. Last year, the owner reported some of his weapons stolen, including that Sig Sauer, but a police officer never followed through on her investigation and didn’t obtain an arrest warrant for the prime suspect, the gun owner’s son.

“It would be a stretch to say that getting that warrant would have prevented [Chesley’s] death,” said Frederick Bealefeld III, deputy police commissioner, saying that the suspect “was bent on using guns and being involved in violence.” Still, police have gone through significant hand-wringing over what they did and didn’t do with that single gun. It illustrates gaps in the department’s ability to track the source of weapons, a priority for Mayor Sheila Dixon, who will resurrect a gun unit staffed with detectives who will go after individuals and gun stores that provide weapons to criminals.


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