WSSU, WFU mourn the death of student athlete

WSSU, WFU mourn the death of student athlete
January 25
01:00 2018

The campuses of Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) and Wake Forest Universities (WFU) are in mourning this week after gun violence took the life of a student athlete last weekend. 

Here’s what we know: Around 1 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 20, police were dispatched to The Barn, an event venue on the campus of Wake Forest after reports of gunfire. According to police, during a party hosted by the Pi Omicron Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, an argument broke out, which was followed by gunfire.  

Upon arrival police found 21-year-old Najee Ali Baker, suffering from a gunshot wound. He was taken to a local hospital, where he later died. Baker, a transfer student from Dean College in Massachusetts, was a walk-on defensive lineman for the Rams and a native of Brooklyn, N.Y.  

Shortly after the heartbreaking news of Baker’s death was made public, WSSU and WFU officials made public statements on the senseless act of violence.

A statement on the WSSU Facebook page reads, “We are deeply saddened by this loss of a young life. Mr. Baker was a promising young man. It is truly a tragedy that his life was cut short in an act of unnecessary and senseless violence.”

WSSU Chancellor Elwood Robinson and WFU President Nathan Hatch also wrote personal messages sending condolences to Baker’s family and friends. 

In an email sent to WFU students, faculty and staff, Hatch said, “My thoughts and prayers this morning are with the student’s family, friends and classmates, as well as our Wake Forest community.”

Hatch also said several students from WFU and WSSU are working with the Winston-Salem Police Department to bring those responsible to justice. 

He said, “There is no greater priority than the safety of our campus community and this incident is troubling and unsettling for all of us. Police are increasing security and patrols on campus and in the surrounding area.” 

“… I am grateful for the partnership of Winston-Salem State University and the Winston-Salem Police Department, and all of the staff from several campus departments that responded in the early morning hours.”

On Wednesday, Jan. 24, a vigil was held at the clock tower on the campus of WSSU in remembrance of Baker. 

Anyone who has information about this incident is urged to call the Winston-Salem Police Department at (336) 773-7700 or Crime Stoppers at (336) 727-2800. 

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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