SHELBY, N.C. – A North Carolina police officer who was shot and wounded as he attempted to serve warrants on a man died Monday, authorities said.
Shelby Police Chief Jeff Ledford said in a statement that Officer Tim Brackeen, 38 and who was a 12-year veteran of the force, died at a Charlotte hospital.
Ledford said Brackeen was looking for 23-year-old Irving Lucien Fenner Jr. early Saturday morning to serve warrants on him. According to the chief, Brackeen found Fenner at a home, where the two struggled before Brackeen was shot in the chest. The chief said Brackeen was wearing his bulletproof vest at the time of the shooting.
Fenner was initially charged with attempted murder, but Ledford said the charge has been upgraded to first-degree murder.
Gov. Pat McCrory's office announced Monday that the state is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the shooting.
Ledford said in an email that Brackeen was known for giving classes and demonstrations with his K-9 partner, Ciko. Because of Brackeen's work, there has been an outpouring of sympathy from people offering help to his family and the department.
Shelby Mayor Stan Anthony presented Brackeen with an Officer of the Year award in 2012.
"He was such an outstanding person and loved by everybody. He was one of these guys who everybody admired and respected," Anthony told The Shelby Star. "This is such a huge loss to community. We're all heart-broken for the family, and I know the community will rally around them and show them love. We're all going to miss him."
Brackeen leaves behind a wife and a daughter.