DA to seek the death penalty for man accused of shooting, killing NC officer

Officer Tim Brackeen and Irving Lucien Fenner Jr.
Officer Tim Brackeen and Irving Lucien Fenner Jr.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WBTV) – The District Attorney says he plans to seek the death penalty for the man accused of fatally shooting a Shelby Police officer early Saturday morning.

Officer Tim Brackeen was shot early Saturday morning while he was attempting to serve a warrant in the area of Parkview Street. Investigators say he was shot in the torso and passed away Monday morning at Carolinas Medical Center, in Charlotte.

The Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner’s Office said Brackeen died after suffering a “lethal gunshot wound to the chest.” The report was released Wednesday afternoon after an autopsy was completed.

The man accused in the shooting death, 23-year-old Irving Fenner Jr., was arrested in Providence, Rhode Island early Wednesday morning after being on the run since Saturday morning.

Fenner’s arrest in Rhode Island

“It’s been a long period of time where the detectives and the FBI agents all cultivating information, pretty good police work tracking [Fenner] here. And they surrounded the house and they talked him out, and he surrendered, he came out peacefully,” Rhode Island State Police told WPRI.

According to WPRI, Fenner was taken to the hospital after his capture because he had an injury from a gunshot wound. Investigators said that the injury did not come from his capture in Rhode Island, but believe Fenner was shot in his earlier struggle with Brackeen.

RELATED: Man wanted for shooting, killing NC officer captured in Rhode Island

“There is a bullet behind his rib cage and they are going to leave it there for now,” State Police Major Joseph Philbin said.

Philbin said he called the Shelby Police Department in the middle of the night to tell them they had captured Fenner.

“[The dispatcher] had to take a breath because she was emotional,” Philbin said.

Police from Shelby and the FBI were expected to be in  Rhode Island to interview Irving Fenner Jr. by Wednesday afternoon.  Fenner will then be arraigned as a fugitive from justice after he is questioned.

When police arrested Fenner his head was shaved, according to WPRI. Police said he had tried to elude capture by altering his appearance. FBI Special Agent Colin Woods said analysis of Fenner’s cell phone, which authorities seized shortly after the shooting, led them to Rhode Island.

Other people arrested

Since Tuesday afternoon, six other people have been charged for their alleged involvement in the case, including Fenner’s half-sister.

Casey Fenner of New York, Jolisa Peeler of Rhode Island and Deitra Morris of Shelby were each charged Tuesday night with accessory after the fact of first-degree murder, which is a Class C felony.

Fenner’s uncle, Corry Peeler and his girlfriend Hope Wyman, are both charged with harboring a criminal.

Police say the charges stem from “aid that they provided the suspect, Irving Lucien Fenner Jr., after the murder of Officer Tim Brackeen.

Ashley Hamrick, the woman WBTV previously interviewed, was charged Tuesday afternoon with felony harboring a fugitive “for giving Fenner aid and comfort while he was subject to outstanding warrants for first-degree burglary, robbery with dangerous weapon, and second degree kidnapping,” according to Shelby police.

Hamrick is accused of harboring Fenner, knowing he was wanted, when officer Brackeen attempted to serve warrants on him early Saturday morning.

During the interview with WBTV Monday evening, Hamrick said, “Irving Fenner if you’re watching this you better turn yourself in because it’s not gonna end pretty.” Hamrick is being held on a $100,00 bond.

Authorities said Casey Fenner and Peeler “will be brought back here {NC} to face charges” but police don’t know when because “the extradition process takes different amounts of time based on the state.”

Casey Fenner, Irving’s half-sister, spoke with WBTV Monday night and claimed she didn’t know where her brother was. She said Brackeen shot him and that he could be dead “somewhere in the woods.”

Funeral arrangements

Brackeen’s body was escorted Tuesday from the Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner’s Office in Charlotte to the Cecil Burton Funeral Home in Shelby. The procession, which temporarily shut down part of Interstate 85 southbound, started just after 12:30 p.m. and ended around 2 p.m.

According to Officer Brackeen’s pastor, a memorial service will be held Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at Bethel Baptist Church, along South Dekalb Street in Shelby.

A funeral service will be held at 3:00 pm on Friday, Sept. 17 at Keeter Stadium, 230 E Dixon Blvd, Shelby, North Carolina 28152  with Rev. Stephen Brackeen officiating.

Burial will follow at Sunset Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, Memorials can be made;Shelby Police Department K-9 Unit, PO Box 207,  Shelby NC 28151.

A GoFundMe page was set up for Brackeen. The page says “the funds raised will go to help Tim, Tim’s wife, and daughter during their time of crisis.”

Copyright 2016 WBTV. All rights reserved. WPRI contributed to this report.

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