Sister of man accused of killing Shelby officer says her brother - | WBTV Charlotte

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Sister of man accused of killing Shelby officer says her brother may be dead

Irving Lucien Fenner Jr. Irving Lucien Fenner Jr.
SHELBY, NC (WBTV) -

What exactly happened just after midnight in Shelby when canine officer Tim Brackeen was shot in the line of duty? The officer died at the hospital Monday morning.

Shelby Police said the investigation is still in the early stages and it's ongoing. They know Officer Brackeen went to serve a warrant to 23-year-old Irving Fenner when the shooting happened. 

Police said they don't yet have all the answers, and they're still searching for Fenner, who police say shot Brackeen.

Ashley Hamrick said the shooting happened behind her house. 

Hamrick said she's known Fenner for years. Lately, he was staying - on and off - with his girlfriend at her house.

Hamrick said shortly before the shooting, she dropped Fenner off a couple of streets away. She said when she got home - just after midnight Saturday morning and was parking - she heard voices in the backyard.

"When I got to this fence, I heard him say stop stop and I hear the two gunshots. The stop stop I heard was Brackeen. I know his voice like the back of my hand. I've known him for a long time" Hamrick said. "With the spotlight that hit him, I seen Mr. Fenner's face. I seen him with the gun raised the third shot hit officer Brackeen"

Hamrick says police officers arrived on the scene. Fenner ran. She said she hasn't seen or heard from him since Saturday.

WBTV spoke on the phone Monday night with a woman who said she's Fenner's sister. 

Crystal Fenner, who is out of state, said "multiple people who were at the scene" early Saturday morning gave her this version of events:

"From what I know, my brother had a warrant out for his arrest. The police came out of the bushes. My brother tried to run. The officer shot my brother in the back. My brother returned and returned fire," she said. "He has a bullet in his back. I wouldn’t be surprised if he's somewhere in the woods in North Carolina dead."

Shelby police tell WBTV they don't know if Fenner is wounded because they haven't seen him. A police commander said they've heard it both ways - that Fenner was shot and that he wasn't shot. Police say because they haven't seen him, they can't confirm which it is.

Police said the investigation is ongoing. They don't know if Brackeen fired his weapon. 

Crystal Fenner said "my heart goes out to the family of the officer." 

She described her brother, who is a father of three, as "young at heart. He’s a goof ball. He’s just a big goof ball. Everybody that knows him knows he just a big goof ball."

WBTV checked Fenner's criminal history, and just for Cleveland County, he has a rap sheet that includes trespassing, assaulting an officer, and carrying a concealed gun, among other things. 

Police said they've been in touch with local authorities in other states where it appears Fenner has family, and they added, they're working with police everywhere. 

Crystal Fenner has a message for her brother, who is wanted police say for first-degree murder. 

"That I love him and I hope the police don’t kill him if he’s not already dead," she said. 

At her house at the corner of Gidney Street and Parkview Street, Ashley Hamrick spent the afternoon putting up posters and balloons in memory of Brackeen.

Hamrick said the officer helped her out of an abusive relationship, and she considers him family. 

She has a message for Fenner.

"Turn yourself in. It's not going to end well" she said. 

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