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Waynesville, N.C. – On Wednesday, August 21, 2015, a man identified as Wade Baker, w/m/44, father of nine children called local authorities and reported four people had been shot at the Maple Grove Baptist Church. He advised an armed man was still at the church and requested police respond.

When police responded, they were confronted by the caller who was armed with a pistol. According to news reports, the man fired upon officers. After a brief standoff, Baker was shot and killed by police and was later pronounced dead at the scene. Police advised they shot the suspect in self defense.

According to the pastor, the only person who should have been on scene was the church janitor. However, due to a possible electrical outage she was not there. According to news reports, Baker was a military veteran and suffered from PTSD.

The family released this statement (in part):

“Wade was a husband and father, son and brother. Wade is survived and will always be loved by 6 sons and 3 daughters: Nicholas, Mason, Jackson, Jakobi, Tanner, Gage, Kyla, Dana and Kayla; his wife Michelle; loving parents Candy and Daryl; a sister Laura, and his service dog Honor.

Wade was also a military veteran. He served in the U.S. Army from approximately August 1989 to November 1998. His Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) was mechanized infantryman, and he received an honorable discharge. His military awards include: Army Commendation Award (2nd award); Army Achievement Medal; Joint Meritorious Unit Service Award; Good Conduct Medal (3rd award); National Defense Service Medal; Southwest Asia Service Medal with 3 Bronze Service Star; Armed Forces Service Medal; Overseas Service Ribbon; Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait); Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia); and others.

Like other members of our community and family, we are struggling to understand these events. We are grieving for our loss. We appreciate your thoughts and prayers in the coming days, and hope that others will respect our privacy. We have no further information at this time.”

The suspect was reportedly not a member of the church.

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