Fallen NC officer honored at service, to be laid to rest


SHELBY, N.C. (WBTV) – Friday afternoon a Shelby police officer, killed in the line of duty, will be laid to rest.

Officer Tim Brackeen was shot early Saturday morning while serving an arrest warrant in the area of Parkview Street. Brackeen died from those injuries Monday morning at Carolinas Medical Center, in Charlotte.

Crowds have packed memorials held Wednesday and Thursday nights to honor Brackeen at Bethel Baptist Church in Shelby.

Brackeen’s family spoke to WBTV Wednesday night and said they are ready to forgive the man accused of shooting Officer Brackeen in the torso, fatally wounding him.

“I would honor the opportunity when this young man comes back to be able to talk with him and tell him we forgive him,” Jim Brackeen said. “There’s no hatred with us a family, and have the opportunity maybe to present the gospel of Jesus Christ to him that he would not spend eternity in the sinner’s hell but have the opportunity to be saved.”

That man, 23-year-old Irving Fenner Jr. is currently being held in jail in Rhode Island where he was arrested early Wednesday morning.

Fenner was arraigned and is fighting attempts to extradite him back to North Carolina to face charges. Investigators say it could take weeks to get him back in the state.

But Friday, the attention will be on Brackeen, his family and their faith.

Officer Brackeen was a K-9 Officer for the Shelby Police Department, where he served for more than 12 years. He was presented with the “Officer of the Year” award in 2012. He was married for 18 years and had a daughter.

Jim Brackeen, fought back tears Thursday night and reiterated that his family harbors no hatred for the man accused of killing his son.

“If my son was here, my son would tell him that he does not hate him and that there is no hatred and I want to share that with him,” Jim Brackeen said.

He said the support the family has seen from the community has been “amazing to see.”

“I don’t think a father could have more gratitude to a community than I have for these folks that would come out to a fallen police officer and show their gratitude the way that you see – you see the flowers” Jim Brackeen said. “He was my best friend and so there are going to be times that’s going to be very difficult.”

A funeral service will be held Friday afternoon at 3:00 pm at Keeter Stadium, the baseball stadium located on the campus of Shelby High School.

Because of the time of the service, Shelby High School will dismiss students at 11:30 a.m. Friday. In a letter sent to parents, Shelby High School said buses will run regular routes. Principal David Allen also asked all car-riding students to be picked up in a timely manner to avoid traffic issues.

Officer Brackeen’s younger brother, Rev. Stephen Brackeen, will officiate his funeral. North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory will attend the funeral and is reportedly scheduled to speak.

Gospel singer Mark Schultz flew in Friday afternoon to sing at Officer Brackeen’s funeral.

The North Carolina Trooper’s Association Caisson Unit will take part in the funeral, helping escort Officer Brackeen’s body.

“Our team will work tirelessly to make sure Officer Brackeen is laid to rest with the highest of honors,” the group wrote online. “He has given his life to protect others. God speed sir.”

Brackeen will be buried at Sunset Cemetery following the service.

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