Accused cop killer arrested in Rhode Island

The man accused of shooting a Shelby Police officer will make his first court appearance in Rhode Island.

PROVIDENCE, R.I -- Authorities arrested the man accused of killing a Shelby police officer early Wednesday morning in Rhode Island.

Rhode Island authorities said Irving Fenner Jr. was arrested around 2:30 a.m. He was taken to a nearby hospital to be treated for a gunshot wound he suffered in Shelby. 

"We needed some good news last night," said Rhode Island State Police Captain Steven Seate. "And, him being in custody was good news."

Fenner is accused of shooting Officer Tim Brackeen early Saturday morning. Authorities took Fenner into custody at a home in Coventry, Rhode Island. 

Rhode Island State Police received says authorities learned that a person or persons traveled to North Carolina on Sunday and picked up Fenner from an unknown location in Shelby and transported to Rhode Island.

RISP received information that Fenner, Jr. was inside an apartment on Oxford Street in Providence, Rhode Island, Tuesday night, according to WJAR

Officers used tear gas and gave warnings before entering, WJAR reports, but the raid turned up nothing as no one was inside the home. 

Information was cultivated that led investigators to Tiogue Avenue in the town of Coventry, Rhode Island, where Fenner was found and apprehended without further incident. He was found with a gunshot wound to the lower left torso and was taken to an area hospital for treatment and was later released. 

He currently remains in custody in Rhode Island. 

Three others who are accused of assisting Fenner avoid apprehension were also arrested in Rhode Island; they are Jolisa Peeler, Corry Peeler and Hope Wyman, who are each charged with accessory after the fact of first-degree murder and harboring a criminal, respectively. 

"If you lose a brother, it doesn't matter what state they are from-- we all mourn that loss," Captain Seate said. "A great man lost his life doing a job he loved, doing the right thing. You would hope that when something like that happens, people step up to help and not hinder."

"Obviously, he had help," Captain Seate insisted. 

Fenner was arraigned Wednesday night in Rhode Island. He has chose not to waive extradition. Fenner will stay in Rhode Island until North Carolina Governor's Warrant is issued, according to WJAR. This should take around 30 days. 

Shelby Police Chief Jeff Ledford said it's important to get Fenner back here.

"Getting him here is a small step in a long journey," Chief Ledford said. "It will not end things; we will still be going."

Detectives spent part of Thursday interviewing Fenner in Rhode Island, though no details have been released about that interview.

Fenner appeared in court with an arm sling as a result of a gunshot wound; police are trying to figure out if Fenner was shot by Officer Brackeen during the altercation.

According to WJAR, Peeler waived extradition and will be leaving Rhode Island. Officers are taking her to North Carolina Thursday.

Earlier in the evening Tuesday, Ashley Hamrick and Deitria Morris were arrested in Shelby connection with Officer Brackeen's death.

One of the arrestees, Hamrick, told NBC Charlotte's Michelle Boudin on Monday that she witnessed the shooting. She also said Fenner is from Providence.

Honoring a fallen officer

On Tuesday, a processional for the body of a fallen Shelby Police officer shut down I-85 and brought hundreds to show support.

Dozens of police cruisers with flashers on and sirens blaring escorted Officer Tim Brackeen from CMC Main in Charlotte where he passed away Monday more than 50 miles to a Shelby funeral home. Along the way, flag-draped fire trucks and community members lined overpasses to see the processional breeze by.

"I hope they know they're not alone, they have the community standing behind them," said Kara Lesper, from a Belmont overpass.

"I want to pay my respects to the officer, to his family, to all his brothers and sisters in blue," said Dawn Caniff.  "Very emotional, this just hits home to me; my dad was a police officer for 25 years, so to see this happening is just breaking my heart."

The crowds grew larger near Shelby. Spectators lined the streets leading to the funeral home. Some held flags, balloons or handwritten signs as the hearse carrying Officer Brackeen ended its journey.

"Our community is one of the strongest communities around," said Jeffrey Johnson, of Shelby.

At a service for Officer Brackeen Wednesday night at Bethel Baptist Church, hundreds lined up to celebrate his life.

The family says they forgive the man who killed their loved one.

"I had ridden in his cruiser on several occasions. I melted down, had a serious emotional moment when I saw his cruiser and the cards and flowers, people recognizing Tim's sacrifice," said Tim's father, Jim Brackeen.

Officer Brackeen's brother, Reverend Steven Brackeen, said, "The most important thing that would honor my brother is the message of forgiveness from the lord Jesus Christ."

Funeral services for Officer Brackeen will be held Friday at Shelby High School.

The Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner's office released a statement Wednesday on the autopsy of Officer Timothy Brackeen saying he, "suffered a lethal gunshot wound to the chest." 

Lincolnton and Lincoln County Officers will conduct a Yeti raffle fundraiser for the family of Officer Brackeen. The cost of a raffle ticket will be $5 and all proceeds will go to the family of Officer Brackeen. The drawing will be held on October 29 at the Lincolnton/Lincoln County FOP Lodge. Tickets are available for purchase from Lincolnton Police.

Copyright 2016 WCNC


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