WFU President Addresses Lingering Questions Surrounding On-Campus Shooting
Wake Forest University President Nathan Hatch sent an email Tuesday evening addressing concerns surrounding the on-campus shooting death of Winston-Salem State University student Najee Ali Baker. It reads:
- There is concern being expressed about the delay between the shooting and the initial campus notification. 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.
- There is a rumor that there was not security at an event where approximately 475 people were present. At this point in the investigation, we can confirm that there was security at the event in accordance with our standard practices for late-night parties at the Barn. A uniformed University Police officer and hired security staff were present.
- Some are asking why people were in attendance who were not Wake Forest students. It is not uncommon for students from other area schools to attend events here on campus. Our open campus contributes to a sense of shared community and vibrant social life, particularly for our underrepresented students. We are reviewing our event management processes to increase clarity of who is on our campus, and to help provide a safe experience for our students and visitors.
- I’ve been asked about the status of the investigation and why the shooter has not yet been apprehended. As the Winston-Salem Police Department stated this afternoon, the investigation remains active and ongoing. We continue to support their investigation and have colleagues across the University who are working tirelessly toward that end.
Hatch also notes that the incident has left the university community unsettled, and expressed continued support for Winston-Salem State University and the victim's family.
A vigil to honor Baker will be held at the Winston-Salem State Clock Tower on Wednesday from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.