Sheriff: Church fire, house fire connected to suicide
Posted January 11, 2014
Updated January 13, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison says a man set a house on fire, then drove an SUV into St. Luke Catholic Church in Raleigh and shot and killed himself early Saturday.
Authorities said the man was Jason Terrell Martin, 20.
Emergency crews responded to the house fire at 801 Carrington Drive at about 2:20 a.m. About 20 minutes later, a fire call came in from the church, about 4.5 miles away at 12333 Bayleaf Church Road.
There, firefighters found an SUV had crashed through the front door, the sanctuary was on fire and man was dead in the parking lot.
"We're treating it like a crime scene now," Harrison said Saturday. "It appears it was a self-inflicted gunshot wound. It appears all this is connected – the house fire and the church fire – looks like it's all joined together."
In a written statement, Bishop Michael Burbidge, bishop of the Diocese of Raleigh said: "With all the parishioners of St. Luke Parish, along with all in the diocese, I offer deep sympathy to the young man's family and assure them of our prayerful support, especially at this time of tragedy."
St. Luke's will observe Mass Sunday at 2 p.m. at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Raleigh.