Murdered national guard member’s son: “My dad died a hero”

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Update 7/9- A teenager has been arrested in the murder of a long-time member of the Tennessee Army National Guard Wednesday.

Christopher C. Farrar, 15, of Lobelville is charged with criminal homicide. WREG is told Farrar was kicked out of high school on drug charges and is now homeschooled.

Sgt. 1st Class Michael W. Braden, 45, was shot and killed at the armory.

Farrar is being held without bond.

Thursday, Braden’s 17-year-old son, Wyatt Braden, talked to WREG. He said his dad, who was born and raised in Ripley, Tennessee, took him to Jackson to help him enlist in the army Wednesday morning.

Wyatt said he hugged his dad and told him he loved him, right before his dad left to go to the armory in Perry County. His dad ran the day-to-day logistical operations for the unit there.

The TBI said Wednesday afternoon, Farrar somehow got into the armory and started shooting hitting Braden at least once. Braden later died at the hospital.

“I found out about eight that night that he died,” said Wyatt Braden. “It is definitely something that I will think about as I put on that uniform… He died a hero. You know, when kid walked in, my dad told the other solider there to stay in the bathroom. He fought the kid to the best of his abilities.”

His family remembers Braden as fun loving, a prankster, a guy who loved the outdoors and UT football. They’re all asking how a man who served overseas could be killed at home.

“A real likeable person. Everybody liked him. He was always smiling. He was friendly,” said cousin Mark Braden.

Braden leaves behind his four children. He was a member of the National Guard for nearly 30 years.