Teen Suspect In Deadly Armory Shooting Appears In Court For First Time

Teen Suspect In Deadly Armory Shooting Appears In Court For First Time

CREATED Jul 12, 2014

LOBELVILLE, Tenn. – A 15-year-old boy was in court for the first time Friday following his arrest for the fatal shooting of a longtime Tennessee Army National Guardsman in Perry County.

Christopher C. Farrar was wearing handcuffs and a black and white stripe jumpsuit as he was led out of the Perry County courthouse following a brief hearing Friday morning.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation arrested Farrar Wednesday night at his family's home on Depriest Bend Drive. He was charged early Thursday with one count of criminal homicide in the shooting death of 45-year-old Sgt. 1st Class Michael W. Braden, of Ripley.

According to court documents, someone alerted the Perry County Sheriff's Office of disturbing text messages exchanged with the suspect.

An affidavit revealed that the teen sent a text at 12:16 p.m. that read, “Imma [sic] go to the armory and kill everyone until they kill me." When the person asked why, the 15-year-old responded "why not... make history."

The document also said Farrar called someone at 4:36 p.m. to say he had gone through with the shooting, and was going home to shower and bury his clothes.

Very little was immediately known about Farrar’s past but the TBI said he had been expelled from a Springfield area school for a drug offense.

The motive and other circumstances surrounding the incident remained under investigation. It was not immediately clear if Farrar targeted Braden specifically, or if the shooting was random.

Investigators said they recovered several weapons from inside the teen's home and were working to determine whether or not one of the firearms was used in the shooting.

Investigators said Farrar somehow gained access to the armory, which is usually locked, and fired several shots around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. One of the shots struck Braden.

He was transported to Perry County Medical Center, where he later died as a result of his injuries.

A neighbor told investigators she saw a person wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt enter the armory. A passing motorist also said he saw someone wearing a grey hoodie crossing the road from the armory around the same time.

Meanwhile, family and friends described Braden as a fun-loving guy who enjoyed the outdoors and the University of Tennessee Football.

“He died a hero, you know. That kid walked in and my dad told the other soldier there stay in the bathroom. He fought the kid to the best of his abilities,” Braden’s 17-year-old son, Wyatt, told Memphis CBS affiliate WREG.

The younger Braden said he wouldn’t forget the last memory he shared with his dad. Wednesday morning, Wyatt said he started his own military career by enlisting in the army.

Hours later, his father was killed.

“When it comes time, if that ever does come to that point in my military career, I hope I go out the same way,” he said.

Braden was a 27-year veteran of the Tennessee Army National Guard. He left behind a wife and three children.

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