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Police - Subject of protective order kills himself

September 28, 2007|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

A man shot and killed himself Thursday night as police officers arrived at his Oak Street house to serve a protective order on him, the Hagerstown Police Department said.

However, for several hours after a gunshot was heard, authorities weren't sure what happened and thought the shot might have been fired at them.

Police repeatedly tried to contact the man in the house, unaware that the gunshot inside was the man killing himself, Sgt. Paul Kifer said.

Officers finally went inside the house after four hours and found the man's body.

Police wouldn't release his identity Friday morning "out of respect to the family," but Police Chief Arthur Smith later confirmed the man's name as Ellis Lee Baker Jr.

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Officers went to 905 Oak St., off Wilson Boulevard, about 10:20 p.m. - roughly two hours after a Washington County District Court commissioner approved an interim protective order against Baker.

The order says Ellis Baker, 43, could have no contact with his wife, Jennifer Leigh Baker, 36, and their two children. Jennifer Baker temporarily was given custody of the children, and Ellis Baker had to move out of their home immediately, according to the order.

Police said in a press release that officers "were greeted by a single gunshot from inside the residence" when they knocked on Ellis Baker's door about 10:20 p.m.

The officers, who were not injured, "pulled back and took cover," according to the release. The Washington County Special Response Team was called in to help.

Kifer said police tried to reach Ellis Baker on his home phone and on his cell phone and by using a bullhorn.

About 2:15 a.m., police still didn't know that he was dead, but decided to try to get into the house, Kifer said.

The Special Response Team went in. Ellis Baker was found inside, dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.

No one else was home, Kifer said.

Washington County District Court records say that a hearing was scheduled for Monday on whether to turn the interim protective order into a temporary protective order, the next step toward a final order.

Court records also show that on May 30, 2003, Jennifer Baker received an interim protective order against Ellis Baker. However, a temporary protective order was denied on June 3, 2003.

The same day, Jennifer Baker again sought, and was granted, a temporary protective order against her husband, according to court records. A week later, a final protective order that would last almost a year was approved.

Then, at Jennifer Baker's request, the final protective order was rescinded on June 26, 2003.

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