Man wanted on murder charge after Winston-Salem State student shot, killed at Wake Forest University event

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Jakier Shanique Austin

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Winston-Salem police are searching for a man in connection with the death of a Winston-Salem State University football player who was shot and killed at an event at Wake Forest University Saturday morning.

Police have obtained warrants for arrest charging Jakier Shanique Austin, 21, with murder and possession of a firearm on educational property.

Police were called to The Barn, an event venue on the Wake Forest University’s campus in the 1800 block of Wake Forest Drive, at about 1 a.m. after a gunshot was fired.

Police said the victim, 21-year-old Najee Ali Baker, was shot following an argument. It happened at an event hosted by the Pi Omicron chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., a Wake Forest University student organization.

Baker was taken to a local hospital where he died from his injuries.

In addition to the homicide of Baker, authorities learned that on Saturday morning, 24-year-old Juan Mortimer was the victim of an assault in which a firearm was pointed at him. The incident occurred in close proximity to where Baker was shot. The firearm was not discharged at Mortimer and he was not injured during the encounter.

Malik Patience Smith

On Tuesday, Winston-Salem police released three photographs of men that authorities wanted to interview. One of the men in the pictures was identified as 16-year-old Malik Patience Smith. He is charged with possession of a handgun by a minor, assault by pointing a gun and possession of a firearm on educational property.

One man depicted in the photographs has been located and interviewed by detectives. Authorities will not identify him because no evidence currently exists to implicate him in the crime under investigation. This subject is considered to be a witness in this matter.

Austin was identified as the other man in the photographs.

Anyone with information on Austin’s whereabouts is asked to call Winston-Salem police at (336) 773-7700.

Wake Forest University on Wednesday put out the following release:

On Jan. 24, the Winston-Salem Police Department announced that it has made an arrest in the investigation into the Jan. 20 on-campus shooting.

Wake Forest University President Nathan O. Hatch released the following statement:

“On behalf of Wake Forest University, I am grateful to the Winston-Salem Police Department for its tireless efforts in the investigation of Najee Ali Baker’s tragic death.”