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Family of murdered clinic employee: 'He was a great guy'

Posted at 4:30 PM, Jul 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-17 09:24:56-04

BALTIMORE — A day later and the north Baltimore methadone clinic is still closed; a sign on the front porch reading 'God bless the Man Alive staff and the B.P.D. sergeant.'

But still, police can't tell us why.

There are details missing as to why 49-year-old Ashanti Pinkney was in the methadone clinic, if there was an armed security guard around the facility and exactly what triggered him to open fire.

We know the role of police, how Sergeant Billy Shiflett was shot, how his Officer Chris Miller pulled him to safety; but why David Caldwell was killed is still a mystery to his family.

READ MORE: Sergeant shot, suspect dead in shooting at methadone clinic in Old Goucher

"You're gonna call your officer a hero and all this kind of stuff, why not mention, who knows...David might have been hero,” said Caldwell’s brother-in-law Layne Keatts. “And if he was, we should have known about it way before now. We don't know what he did."

What we do know is that Caldwell was found in another room of the clinic. Police now say Pinkney shot and killed the clinic's phlebotomist before officers were able to get on the scene.

Pressed again today for any further details, the Baltimore Police Commissioner said he had nothing further...yet

"We do not have anything new to speak to his motivation other than what we know now, which is what we knew yesterday,” said Commissioner Michael Harrison.

But Caldwell's family now knows his loss.

The Southwest Baltimore family spent the day making funeral arrangements.

They say Caldwell often feared he might be a victim of a crime in or around that clinic.

His brother-in-law said Caldwell loved his family, his dogs...and wouldn't think twice before helping out a stranger.

"He was a great guy,” Keatts said. “He was the kind of guy that would do anything for anybody. He deserved a lot better, and they should have had protection there for him or for anybody that does that job. That is a tough environment to have to work in."

Baltimore Police did confirm today that it was indeed an officer other than Sergeant Shiflett that shot and killed Pinkney.

Those details and that body worn camera video that caught the entire exchange remain under investigation.