SHELBY, N.C. – Over 6,500 people gathered Friday afternoon to memorialize Shelby Police officer Tim Brackeen.
Among those at the service to pay their respects to the fallen officer were Governor Pat McCrory and law enforcement agencies from multiple states, who joined a procession from David Baptist Church to Keeter Stadium, where Brackeen’s service was held.
Brackeen’s body was escorted into the stadium by mounted police. Numerous K9 units from across the country lined the field prior to the memorial service. Shelby authorities confirmed that Brackeen’s K9 partner would be retired from service following the memorial.
“I know that Tim was the best of North Carolina, and frankly, the best of the United States of America,” McCrory said.
The Governor said he never met Brackeen while he was alive, but he did meet his wife and Shelby Police Chief Jeff Ledford at the hospital Sunday.
“Like the heroes we saw in 2001 in New York City, we saw another hero have his life changed on Saturday night right here in Shelby, North Carolina,” said McCrory. “When Officer Brackeen set out on another day of just doing his job. He didn’t ask to be a hero, he volunteered to be a hero.”
Brackeen, 38, died Monday after he was shot in the line of duty just after midnight Saturday morning. Irving Fenner, Jr., the man accused of shooting Brackeen, was arrested by authorities in Rhode Island Wednesday morning. Three others were arrested in Rhode Island and have been charged in connection with helping Fenner leave North Carolina.
On Tuesday afternoon, several area law enforcement and emergency agencies honored Brackeen as his body was being escorted from the medical examiner’s office in Charlotte to a funeral home in Shelby.
Pastor Barry Goodman of Faith Baptist Church said the news that one of his congregation’s members had been shot was something he’d hoped to never hear. Officer Brackeen was a member of the church for the last 12 years with Mikel, his wife of 18 years and 4-year-old daughter Daphne.
“He loved hunting, fishing, his friends in the church,” Goodman said. “He loved police work. He loved seeing serving people in the Christian realm and in the police force.”
Goodman was in the hospital room with Brackeen’s family and friends at CMC when he passed away.
“My words were to her, ‘it won’t be long before we see him again,’” Goodman said, recalling his discussion with Brackeen’s wife.
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