The search for the suspected killer of Shelby police officer Tim Brackeen spread to other states on Tuesday, according to Shelby police Chief Jeff Ledford. Three people were arrested, but Irving Fenner Jr. is still on the run.
Dietra Morris of Shelby, Casey Fenner of New York and Jolisa Peeler of Rhode Island were all arrested on charges of being accessories after the fact of first-degree murder, a Class C felony, Ledford said. Also arrested was Ashley Hamrick of Shelby, who was charged with harboring a fugitive.
Peeler was arrested in Rhode Island and Casey Fenner was arrested in New York. Hamrick and Morris were arrested in Shelby.
A Rhode Island State Police tactical team raided a home in Providence, Rhode Island, Tuesday night in search of Fenner, authorities said.
The team used “various means” to enter the two-story house – WPRI reported that tear gas was deployed – but did not find the suspect, state police Maj. Joseph Philbin said.
Philbin did not say why they believed Fenner might be in the house, and he said he was unable to comment on whether Fenner should be considered “at large” in Providence or Rhode Island.
Earlier Tuesday, the southbound lanes of I-85 were temporarily shut down Tuesday afternoon for a law enforcement procession that carried Brackeen from Charlotte to Shelby, according to the Gastonia Police.
Shelby police are still investing how a routine warrant delivery Saturday led to Brackeen’s murder.
Fenner, 23, of Grover remains at large, with a $25,000 reward now offered for his capture and conviction. Crystal Fenner, who says she’s his sister, believes he was wounded in the incident and could be dead.
She told WBTV “multiple people who were at the scene” early Saturday 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 told WBTV they don’t know if Fenner was 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.
Investigators told WBTV that they don’t know if Brackeen fired his weapon.
Crystal Fenner, who lives out of state, said “my heart goes out to the family of the officer.”
Shelby police said they’ve been in touch with law enforcement authorities in other states where it appears Fenner has family.
Crystal Fenner told WBTV she has a message for her brother, who is a father of three: “I love him and I hope the police don’t kill him if he’s not already dead.”