Wake authorities connect suicide, car wreck and fires at church, home

From staff reportsJanuary 11, 2014 

— The Wake County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an apparent suicide, a car crash and early Saturday morning fires at a church and a home that appear connected.

At around 2:20 a.m., the sheriff’s office received a a call to assist the Bayleaf Fire Department with a house fire at 801 Carrington Drive in northern Wake County. Eighteen minutes later, authorities received another call about a fire alarm at the St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic Church, located less than five miles away at 12333 Bayleaf Church Road.

Firefighters found a vehicle had struck the front of church, and the building was on fire. They also found the body of a man in the church parking lot, whom authorities said was apparently the victim of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Authorities haven’t released the name of the man pending positive identification and the notification of his next of kin. Authorities said it appears the two fires are connected.

The incident is forcing St. Luke to cancel Masses at the parish this weekend. A Sunday mass for St. Luke’s parishioners will be held at 2 p.m. at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Raleigh.

“Our first priority must be our fervent prayers for the young man who died and for all the members of his family,” said Bishop Michael Burbidge of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Raleigh in a written statement. “We ask Our Lord Jesus to grant eternal peace to the young man and to give his family strength, grace and consolation. From staff reports

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