Family, officers gather to honor Shelby officer killed while on duty 7 years ago

This week marks seven years since the death of Shelby Police Officer Tim Brackeen, who was shot and killed while serving a warrant.

On Tuesday, Tim Brackeen’s family and fellow officers gathered for a short service at the former K-9 officer’s memorial. Even though almost a decade has passed, the wounds felt by the community after losing Tim Brackeen are still fresh.

“It’s just hard. It’s hard all over again,” said Stephen Brackeen, Tim Brackeen’s brother. “This day still hits hard in the heart of Cleveland County.”

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Stephen Brackeen told Channel 9 Gaston County bureau reporter Ken Lemon that the emotion felt at Tuesday’s service shows the impact his brother had on others.

“I think this year I realized the impact that Timothy’s life and this tragedy had (gone) far beyond the walls of my home,” Stephen Brackeen said.

Earlier this month was Tim Brackeen’s birthday. His brother told Lemon that each year he and his mother visit the fallen officer’s grave, clean his headstone, and put out new flowers.

While Stephen Brackeen says he won’t get over losing his brother, the loss does help him understand one thing about life.

“I think it’s taught me hope in the midst of despair,” Stephen Brackeen said.

(WATCH BELOW: Procession held on 1-year mark of CMPD Officer Mia Goodwin’s death)