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.