F’ville man dies from accidental gunshot wound

A Fayetteville man has died after carelessly handling a firearm in his home on Jan. 9.

Fayetteville Police Department Det. Mike Whitlow said William Joseph Baker, 26, died Jan. 10 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to head that came as he was carelessly displaying the weapon in his home.

Whitlow said officers were dispatched to the Williamsburg Way residence at approximately 3:25 a.m. on Jan. 9 where they found Baker and a witness in the home. Whitlow said Baker was alive but unresponsive when officers arrived.

Baker was initially transported to Piedmont Fayette Hospital but was later flown to Atlanta Medical Center, Whitlow said. Baker died the following day, Whitlow added.

Whitlow said the preliminary investigation determined that the shooting was accidental and unintentional.

“He carelessly displayed the handgun to the witness and accidentally pulled the trigger when it was next to his head,” Whitlow said. “All indications at this point are that this was a tragic, accidental shooting.”

Whitlow said the investigation into Baker’s death is ongoing.

“Everyone should be reminded that a firearm is a weapon and should be treated with extreme caution,” Whitlow advised.