May 23, 2013 12:16 PM

Bank robbery suspect shooting case going to grand jury

District Attorney Mike Harson says his office will forward a case involving the police shooting of of a suspected bank robber to a grand jury.

Thomas Helvic of Port Allen led police on a chase after he allegedly tried to rob a Home Bank branch on Ambassador Caffery Parkway in October. That chase ended in a field where Helvic was killed. He is also a suspect in a string of bank robberies across Lafayette, Alexandria, Broussard, and Opelousas.

"I believe grand jury results tend to carry more weight," said Harson. "I want people to feel confident about the handling of these types of cases."

The case was initially sent to the Louisiana State Police for investigation. The LSP report was sent to Harson's office earlier this month.

"Yes, we do have the report and I have asked that it be put on the grand jury at the next available date," Harson said. "I've done that because I find in these types of shooting incidents there are always people who doubt decisions made.

The next grand jury is set to convene on June 5. The officer involved in the shooting has already returned to duty.


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