SHELBY, NC (WBTV) - The reward for information now tops $25,000 for information after a Shelby police officer died from his injuries after he was shot while serving a warrant early Saturday morning.
Shelby Police Officer Tim Brackeen was attempting to serve a warrant for 23-year-old Irving Fenner, Jr. in the area of Parkview Street, when Fenner allegedly shot Brackeen in the torso early Saturday morning.
Officials say Brackeen passed away Monday morning at Carolinas Medical Center, in Charlotte.
It is with a heavy heart that I send this release," Shelby Police Chief Jeff Ledford wrote in a statement. "Today at 11:42am Officer Tim Brackeen passed away at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte due to the injuries he received from the shooting on Saturday, September 10, 2016."
"At this time our department asks for everyone to keep Officer Brackeen's family and the entire department in their thoughts and prayers," Ledford continued.
Ledford and other officers set up a makeshift memorial, putting blue ribbons and a wreath on Brackeen's squad car.
Throughout the afternoon and evening, neighbors placed flowers on the car to pay their respects.
"He was out here just trying to do his job, and we love the law enforcement officers," said Annie Harris, as she fought back tears.
Fenner is on the run and now had an outstanding warrant on him for attempted murder. That charge has now been upgraded to first degree murder. Previously, he was wanted for armed robbery and kidnapping.
During a press conference shortly after Brackeen's death, Ledford said he believes authorities are closing in on Fenner.
"Search is still on. We have teams out, even as we speak, trying to get this guy. We're optimistic we'll have him soon," Ledford said.
Governor Pat McCrory announced Monday that the State is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction in Officer Brackeen's shooting. An additional $15,000 was added to the reward consisting of donations from various individuals, CrimeStoppers, City of Shelby, and county government.
According to the Shelby Police chief, McCrory visited Brackeen in the hospital Sunday.
McCrory also issued a statement Monday afternoon about Brackeen's passing.
"Ann and I are offering thoughts and prayers to both the Brackeen family and to the Shelby Police Department for the loss of their colleague," said Governor McCrory. "Unfortunately this is another tragic example of the dangers those in law enforcement face in the line of duty each time they put on the uniform. The state is offering any assistance possible to help bring the individual or individuals responsible for his death to justice."
Officer Brackeen is a 12-year veteran of the department and former Officer of the Year.
A GoFundMe page was set up for Brackeen. The page says "the funds raised will go to help Tim, Tim's wife, and daughter during their time of crisis."
Ledford says right now, Brackeen's family and fellow police officers need all the support they can get.
"I don't think anyone can put that heartbreak into words. It's just a loss of emotion, but it's something as a group, collectively, we're getting through. Our focus is obviously on our staff, primarily on Tim's family," Ledford said.
Anyone with information about this case has been asked to contact the Shelby Police Department at (704) 484-6845 or the State Bureau of Investigation at (919) 662-4500.