Sgt. 1st Class Michael W. Braden was killed in the shooting at the armory. (Photo from the Tennessee National Guard)
LINDEN, TN (WSMV) -
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has arrested and charged a Lobelville teenager in connection to the deadly shooting at the National Guard Armory in Perry County.
Investigators say 15-year-old Christopher Farrar gained access to the armory and fired several shots around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. The armory is on Highway 13, between Linden and Lobelville.
One of the shots hit 45-year-old Sgt. 1st Class Michael W. Braden, who was taken to the Perry County Medical Center, where he later died.
Investigators are working to determine the circumstances and motive behind the shooting.
Braden, of Ripley, TN, served as the non-commissioned officer in charge of readiness for Troop A, Support Squadron, 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment. He had been with the Tennessee National Guard for over 20 years.
"This is a sad day for the Tennessee National Guard. We have tragically lost one of our own. Our hearts and prayers go out to Sgt. 1st Class Braden's wife and children, his extended family and to our Tennessee National Guard family," said Maj. Gen. Max Haston, the adjutant general of Tennessee, in a statement released on Thursday.
Gov. Bill Haslam released this statement on the shooting: "Sergeant Braden was a 27-year veteran of the Tennessee Army National Guard, and it's a tragic day when we lose a decorated hero who has served his country so well. Crissy's and my thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Jennifer, and their three children during this difficult time."
On Wednesday evening, Lobelville city officials urged residents to stay inside and lock their doors as police searched for the suspected shooter.
Just after 9 p.m. Wednesday, the TBI held a news conference and announced that a person of interest was in custody.
"He [the victim] was a good friend of mine, and we're not going to stop until we find out who did this," said Perry County Sheriff Tommy Hickerson at the Wednesday night news conference.
The TBI said Farrar was taken into custody at his family's home on Depriest Bend Drive without incident on Wednesday night.
Farrar is charged with one count of criminal homicide and is being held without bond at the Rutherford County Juvenile Detention Facility.
In addition to the TBI, the Perry County Sheriff's Office is being assisted by the FBI, ATF, TWRA and THP.
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