Hundreds of people gathered in uptown Shelby Monday night for a vigil honoring Tim Brackeen, a K-9 officer with the Shelby Police Department. Brackeen was shot and killed early Saturday while serving a warrant with other officers.
The suspected shooter, Irving Lucien Fenner Jr., 23, of Grover, remains at large. A reward for the capture and conviction of the person responsible is now up to $25,000, including money from the state and from CrimeStoppers.
Civilians and first responders were present at Monday night’s vigil. Several people could be seen hugging and weeping in the crowd.
Local leaders led the group in prayer and songs were sung in remembrance.
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A number of Shelby police officers were seen praying together. Just blocks away, a memorial on a police cruiser continued to grow throughout the evening.
“It was a great loss to lose him. He was a great guy, did a lot for the community,” said Penny Ramsey, a friend of Brackeen.
Ramsey works for the Shelby Rescue Squad and said she would frequently cross paths with Brackeen.
“He used to come over to the squad often and wash his patrol car at our base,” reminisced Ramsey.
Now the fallen officer's patrol car is being showered with love. Community members left flowers, candles and balloons on top of the vehicle Monday.
“It is losing a family member because we’re so close,” explained Ramsey. "I don’t think it has sat in with a lot of us. It’s a shock. We’re all numb.”
Others agreed that it will take time for the community to get over this tragedy.
“It’s something that our community and our town’s not used to have happened and it’s gonna affect us tremendously,” said Rodney Fitch, President of the Cleveland County Christian Law Enforcement Association
A GoFundMe page was set up for Brackeen. The page states "the funds raised will go to help Tim, Tim's wife, and daughter during their time of crisis."