Accused cop killer and slain officer have met before

RI State Police booking photo of Irving Fenner
RI State Police booking photo of Irving Fenner

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The Rhode Island native accused of murdering a North Carolina police officer had crossed paths with the same patrolman four years ago, according to law enforcement records reviewed by Target 12.

Irving Fenner, 23, of Grover, North Carolina, was arrested early Wednesday morning in Coventry after a nationwide manhunt. Fenner was wanted for the shooting death of Shelby, North Carolina, police officer Timothy Brackeen on Saturday. Brackeen died of his injuries three days later.

It wasn’t the first time the two had met.

Police records show in 2012 Fenner was pulled over by Brackeen and charged with driving without a license. He was found guilty of the charge.

Fenner as an extensive criminal history in North Carolina, according to court records. He has been charged with drug possession, trespassing and carrying a concealed gun. At the time of the shooting Fenner was wanted in case where he was accused of breaking into a home, holding the residents at gunpoint during a robbery.

Rhode Island State Police Major Joseph Philbin said Fenner was born in Rhode Island but has moved around “a lot.”

Special Agent Colin Woods said Fenner still had family members throughout Rhode Island.

“Some of them were outside Providence and Warwick, but he had a lot of family up here,” Woods said at a press conference. “That in part is why he came up here.”

Target 12 uncovered an address for one of Fenner’s relative lives in Warwick. It’s unclear the relationship with the person, but neighbors said police came to the apartment complex where they live and asked if they had seen Fenner.

“They wanted to know if Ive seen here,” he said. “I said I hadn’t seen her either.”

Woods said Fenner’s half sister Jolisa Peeler, drove to North Carolina to pick up Fenner then drove him back to her apartment on Oxford St. in Providence. From there Fenner made his way to an apartment on Tiogue Ave. in Coventry, where his uncle Corry Peeler and his girlfriend Hope Wyman lived.

All three are facing charges related to harboring a fugitive.

State Police Col. Steven O’Donnell said Fenner had lived in Rhode Island in the past.

“Not that he has been a long-term resident,” O’Donnell said.

As well as Warwick, records show Fenner also has family in Pawtucket and North Smithfield.

Tim White ( ) is the Target 12 investigative reporter and host of Newsmakers for WPRI 12 and Fox Providence. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook


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