In previous articles on this Series we have described how the women living at the corner house fronting 212 Gidney Street, straight across from Bethel Baptist Church in Shelby, were involved with Irving Fenner Jr. and SPD K-9 Officer Tim Brackeen. The black woman was dating Fenner and the tattooed up white woman, Ashley Hamrick was “getting it on” with Officer Brackeen.
Sources told me that Brackeen was providing drugs to Ms. Hamrick that were confiscated from street level drug dealers provided to Hamrick to satisfy the addiction that drugs bring to a person. In exchange, Hamrick would “narc” on people that the SPD would then arrest. Hamrick would, according to sources, also provided Brackeen with the sexual “blow-jobs” that he seemed to prefer.
It is also well publicized that Ashley Hamrick was quickly arrested by the SPD after the death of Officer Brackeen. But was quickly released where she then, just as quickly, began telling the news media that she had witnessed the killing and Fenner did it. Although it was after midnight and dark. But Hamrick said, because of a bright street light, she could plainly see Fenner’s face. See Article 2 for more details about that. However, Brackeen’s body cam showed it was pitch black when and where the shooting occurred. Hamrick was released from jail while Fenner and others were jailed for three years without benefit of trial, findings if guilt or even any kind of sentencing. Nobody but me, it seems, cares about that. Or the US Constitutional right to a speedy trial.
OK folks. It has been established that Brackeen and Fenner knew each other, hated each other and were often visitors to the Gidney Street home of two women. Perhaps not often at the same time. According to sources, sometime before the night of the shootout, word on the street reached Fenner that the Shelby Police Department had some “papers” on him (Fenner) and that he was liable to be arrested soon. Fenner allegedly did not know what the charges were or whether the word on the street was true. Or not true.
But, true or not, Fenner did not care to be arrested as previous arrests always ended up with him spending months in jail before any kind of hearing, trial or whatever. On the most minor of charges. A fate that lots of young black boys in Shelby, NC and across North Carolina and the USA often met with. Bond was always too high for that to be an option. So, for Fenner, avoiding the police was a top priority.
Sources report that on the night of the shooting, dates here are confusing since it is one date up to midnight and another date after midnight. So, to avoid confusion, we are now talking about the night of the shootout. Starting a few minutes before Just before midnight.
Sources say that Fenner and perhaps other friends walk down to the Shelby Dairy Queen after business hours to get on to the Wi-Fi network that the Dairy Queen has. They were on foot because if cops were spotted it would be easier to escape running through back yards in the dark.
According to sources, just about that time at the Shelby Police Station, K-9 Officer Tim Brackeen was going off-shift and changing to his street cloths before going home. Two other officers had just come on duty and were assigned to serve arrest papers on suspects, including Irving Fenner, Jr. The Officers coming on duty spotted Brackeen, knowing he hated Fenner and asked Brackeen if he wanted to come along to participate in Fenner’s arrest.
Brackeen immediately decided that he wanted to go along, but during his changing of cloths Brackeen had removed his police uniform shirt but not his personal armor and body cam. Since he was actually off-duty he put on his civilian shirt, in a hurry, and went along with the other officers. Service pistol, K-9 animal “Ciko,” pronounced Psycho, K-9 vehicle and all.
The officers devised a plan. They would have Brackeen park his K-9 vehicle in a hidden location in or near the Bethel Baptist Church parking lot, away from any lights, and away from view from the Gidney Street home. Brackeen would sneak around to the Gidney Street home, leaving Ciko locked in the vehicle so nobody would be alerted by a dog barking. Brackeen would hide in the bushes while the other officers would circle the neighborhood with the hopes of “driving” Fenner toward the Gidney Street home and into the trap that Brackeen was laying for him.
Sources say that Fenner, and perhaps others, saw the Police officers driving around the neighborhood and Fenner calls the Gidney Street home and Ashley Hamrick answers. Fenner asks Hamrick to drive down to his location and pick him up. Which she does. But Fenner is street smart enough to not go all the way to the Gidney Street home where Hamrick’s car can be surrounded and he would be easily captured. So, Fenner gets out of the car before it gets to the Gidney Street home and would walk the rest of the way. Always having the darkness of the night as well as many back yards to escape through, if necessary. Hamrick drives the rest of the way home and parks in that parking area that is brightly lit. Very brightly lit. But a fence, trees and bushes made the back side of the house almost pitch black.