Suspect in NC police officer’s murder captured in Coventry

Shelby officer Tim Brackeen, 38, was shot on Saturday. (Police photo)
Shelby officer Tim Brackeen, 38, was shot on Saturday. (Police photo)

COVENTRY, R.I. (WPRI) — State and local police have captured a man wanted in the deadly shooting of a North Carolina police officer.

Only Eyewitness News was on scene as Irving Fenner was taken into custody at about 2 a.m. Wednesday on Tiogue Avenue in Coventry.

Fenner, 23, is accused of gunning down Officer Tim Brackeen of the Shelby Police Department on Saturday and has been on the run since. He was spotted on Oxford Street in Providence Tuesday night, setting off a massive search involving local police, U.S. Marshals, and the FBI.

“It’s been a long period of time where the detectives and the FBI agents all cultivating information, pretty good police work tracking him here,” said Rhode Island State Police Col. Steven O’Donnell. “And they surrounded the house and they talked him out, and he surrendered. He came out peacefully.”

Brackeen was shot in the chest Saturday and died from his injuries on Monday. The 38-year-old served with the Shelby Police Department for 12 years and in 2012 was named officer of the year. He left behind a wife and a daughter.

State Police Major Joseph Philbin said he called the Shelby, N.C. 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.

Fenner was taken to the hospital after his capture because he sustained a gunshot wound. Philbin said that did not come from his capture in Rhode Island, but believes the suspect sustained the gunshot wound in his struggle with Brackeen.

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

The Target 12 Investigators have learned police from Shelby and the FBI in North Carolina are on the way to Rhode Island to interview Fenner. Philbin said they should be here late Wednesday afternoon. Fenner will then be arraigned as a fugitive from justice after he is questioned.

Three other people from Rhode Island face charges of harboring a fugitive and will be arraigned on Wednesday as well. Philbin said one of them is Fenner’s half-sister. A man and a woman in Coventry – described as friends of the half-sister – were also charged. Their names weren’t immediately available.

Fenner was previously wanted on outstanding warrants out of Shelby for kidnapping, burglary, and robbery charges. He’s now being charged with first-degree murder.

Multiple other arrests have been made in the case. Ashley Hamrick was apprehended in Shelby on a felony charge of harboring a fugitive. Police said she aided Fenner while he was wanted on the outstanding warrants.

Also arrested were Jolisa Peeler, of Rhode Island, Casey Fenner, of New York, and Deitra Morris, of Shelby, each on a felony charge of accessory after the fact of murder. They’re accused of providing aid to Fenner in the days after the killing, according to police.

Julianne Peixoto contributed to this report. 

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