SHELBY, NC (WBTV) - Police are searching for Irving Lucien Fenner Jr. in connection with the early-morning shooting of a Shelby police officer.
Fenner, 23, is wanted for attempted murder after K9 Officer Tim Brackeen was shot while attempting to serve a warrant.
Police say several officers were near Parkview Street about 12:20 a.m. attempting to serve the warrant. Officers heard shots and found Brackeen wounded by gunfire.
Brackeen was taken to Cleveland Regional Medical Center and was later transported to Carolinas Medical Center for treatment. Police say his condition is critical but stable. A family member's post on social media said that Brackeen was in surgery Saturday morning.
"It's just a tough time for us all. We're having a tough time processing this," said Shelby Mayor Stan Anthony.
Fenner's last known address is the 2600 block of Blacksburg Road in Grover, NC.
Officer Brackeen is a 12-year veteran with the department and is currently assigned as a K9 officer. Police say he is 38 years old, married and has one daughter.
"When you have one of your own injured like this, it's going to have an impact," said Shelby Police Chief Jeff Ledford.
Brackeen was the Shelby Police Officer of the Year in 2012, but Chief Jeff Ledford says he was an even better person.
"Tim has a very outgoing personality, he can talk to anybody. He's an asset to us," Ledford said.
Whether or not neighbors in Shelby knew Brackeen, they were hurt to find out he was shot in the line of duty.
"For the police officers, we try to treat them all as family," said Phillip Queen, a Shelby resident.
As Officer Brackeen continues to fight for his life in the hospital, Anthony says the community needs to continue to show support for him, his family, and his fellow police officers.
"Main thing we have to do is rally around the police department," Anthony said.
Investigators have released no other details. The State Bureau of Investigation is assisting Shelby police with the investigation.
Police ask anyone with information about the case to contact them at (704) 484-6845 or CrimeStoppers at (704) 481-TIPS (8477).