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What You Need To Know: WSSU Student-Athlete Killed On Wake Forest’s Campus

Najee Ali Baker, 21, was fatally shot around 1 AM on Saturday, January 20th, near Palmer and Piccolo residence halls after an altercation at a party located on Wake Forest’s campus.

Update: Malik Smith Arrested For Assault, Jakier Austin Charged With Murder, Still At-Large

According to a public release from the Winston-Salem Police Department, Mr. Malik Smith, only sixteen years old, was part of an assault that happened near the murder, when he pointed a gun at twenty-four-year-old Juan Mortimer. He has been charged with Possession of a Handgun by a Minor, Assault by Pointing a Gun, and Possession of a Firearm on Educational Property. He is being held Forsyth County Detention Center with no bond allowed.

In the same release, the WSPD has charged Jakier Shanique Austin with Murder and Possession of a Firearm on Educational Property. Austin is twenty-one years old, approximately 5’10” in height, weighs around 160 pounds and is described as having tattoos on both arms. Anyone with information regarding the location of Jakier Austin or who witnessed the incident should call the Winston-Salem police at 336.773.7700 or CrimeStoppers at 336.727.2800. Photos of both individuals can be seen below.

1. Winston Salem-State Football Player Najee Ali Baker Was Fatally Shot on Wake Forest’s Campus

Najee Ali Baker, 21, was fatally shot around 1 AM on Saturday, January 20th, near Palmer and Piccolo residence halls after an altercation at a party located on Wake Forest’s campus. Baker, who is from Brooklyn, NY,  transferred to WSSU in March 2017 from Dean College in Franklin, MA.  He was a walk-on defensive lineman on the WSSU football team and redshirted this past season. Our thoughts and prayers are with Najee’s family, friends, and the Winston-Salem State community.

2. Shooter Is Still At-Large, Police Seeking 3 Men To Interview

The investigation into the shooting is still active, as detectives with the Winston-Salem Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division continue to work to identify the criminal. In a campus-wide email sent yesterday, WSPD said that they are interviewing individuals who were involved in the altercation outside the party or who witnessed the altercation outside the party. If you know any of the individuals shown below or have any other information about the shooting, please contact the Winston-Salem Police Department at 336.773.7700 or CrimeStoppers at 336.727.2800.

3. Party Was Hosted At “The Barn” By Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Had 475 People in Attendance

The Barn

“The Barn” is a space on campus which hosts many events, including “parties, concerts, kickoff dinners, variety shows, speakers and holiday celebrations,” according to the Wake Forest website. The Barn is available for rent by student organizations free of charge and is frequently used by National Pan-Hellenic Council (historically African-American) greek organizations to host parties. These parties are often attended by students from both Winston-Salem State and Wake Forest University. Wake Forest confirmed approximately 475 people attended the party that night in a recent email.

4.  Only 1 Armed Officer Was Working Security At Party

According to a statement from President Hatch, the protocol for large events at night at The Barn calls for only one Wake Forest police officer and between 7 to 9 unarmed security officers. Several university staff and members of the Greek organization hosting the event were also present.

5. Students Not Alerted About Shooting Until 1 Hour After Incident

In the same statement from President Hatch, the University acknowledged that the Wake Alert system was not timely enough. Hatch said “The time that elapsed between the shooting and the initial notification to the campus community was too long. We are undertaking a thorough review to determine what contributed to the delay. Nothing is more important than the safety of our campus community and those visiting our campus, and we are committed to improving the timeliness of our warnings.”

Correction: This article was corrected to show that 475 people attended the Delta Sigma Theta party, not 495.

One Comment

  1. Between this and “What You Need To Know: Freshman Calls RA Racial Slur” it appears that some moderation in drinking is in order

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