FRANKLIN -- Today, in joint Press Conference, officials from Louisiana State Police, the Chitimacha Police Department and the St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office released the names of the officers involved in Saturday's shooting.
Sergeant Rick Riggenbach, 52, with the Chitimacha Police Department, was shot and killed by 48-year-old Wilbert Thibodeaux during Saturday's incident. Sergeant Riggenbach is survived by his wife, Bonnie, three daughters, son, and grandchildren. Sergeant Riggenbach was a 15 year veteran of law enforcement.
During his 15 years of service Sergeant Riggenbach worked for the St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office and the Chitimacha Police Department. Prior to entering law enforcement, Sergeant Riggenbach served in the United States Navy.
"Sergeant Riggenbach is a true hero and his actions saved the lives of many other people," said Chief Blaise Smith, Chitimacha Police Department. "Our department and our community have suffered a great loss. Not only was Sergeant Riggenbach a brave police officer, but he was a truly amazing friend."
St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Deputies Jason Javier and Matthew Strickland, remain in hospitals in Lafayette and New Orleans. Their conditions, which are stable, are improving. Deputy Javier, 23, has been employed with the St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office for the past two years.
Deputy Strickland, 24, had just rejoined the Sheriff's Office this month after having worked there in 2011.
"Today, the support of the law enforcement community in the wake of this unimaginable loss was evident," said Colonel Mike Edmonson, State Police Superintendent. "The Chiefs, Sheriffs, Troopers and other law enforcement officials in attendance demonstrate that we will grieve together and that we heal together. We will never forget Sergeant Riggenbach's service and sacrifice, and we pray for the healthy recovery of Deputies Javier and Strickland."
Detectives with State Police are continuing to investigate the shooting.
UPDATE, 1/27: Detectives have charged 48-year-old Wilbert Thibodeaux of Charenton with two counts of 1st degree murder, two counts of attempted 1st degree murder and one count of arson. Thibodeaux is being held in the Iberia Parish Jail.
The deputies remain in stable condition at hospitals in Lafayette and New Orleans.
The case remains under investigation.
CHARENTON, La. -- A man in St. Mary Parish shoots and kills a person and an officer, and leaves two sheriff deputies in critical condition.
On Saturday, detectives with Louisiana State Police were contacted by St. Mary Parish Sheriff Mark Hebert and requested to investigate an officer involved shooting in Charenton.
Shortly before 10:30 a.m., Deputies with St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office and an Officer with the Chitimacha Police Department responded to a report of a man armed with a shotgun walking in the 10000 block of Flat Town Road in Charenton.
When the Chitimacha police officer arrived on the scene, he encountered 48-year-old Wilbert Thibodeaux of Charenton. Thibodeaux fired at the Chitimacha officer, fatally wounding him. As two St. Mary Deputies, who were in the same car, arrived at the scene Thibodeaux fired multiple shots hitting the deputies.
During the encounter, Thibodeaux was shot. Other responding deputies took Thibodeaux into custody without further incident.
A mobile home fire, believed to be set by Thibodeaux prior to officer's arrival, was extinguished by firefighters. Once extinguished, detectives and State Fire Marshal Investigators discovered the body of 78-year-old Eddie Lyons of Charenton in the home. Detectives suspect Lyons was shot by Thibodeaux before the fire.
Thibodeaux was treated and released from the hospital. He is currently in State Police custody, with charges pending.
The two deputies are in critical but stable condition. One is at a hospital in New Orleans and the other is at a hospital in Lafayette.
The shooting remains under investigation by State Police. The fire remains under investigation by the State Fire Marshals Office.
"Today is a difficult day for our partners in St. Mary Parish," said Colonel Mike Edmonson, State Police Superintendent. "My thoughts and prayers are with the deputies and the officer's families tonight. I know the coming days and weeks will be difficult ones for the men and women of the Chitimacha Police Department and the St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office. We will assist their agencies in anyway we can during these trying times."
Charenton is southeast of New Iberia, about halfway to Morgan City.
Investigators have not released the names of the deputies.
On Monday, St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office, the Chitimacha Police Department and State Police will hold a press conference to release the names of the officers involved and speak about their service to their community.