May 8, 2013 1:12 PM by Tonya LaCoste
Louisiana State Police have finished their investigation into a Lafayette police officer who shot and killed a bank robbery suspect. The investigation has been turned over to the 15th Judicial District Attorney's office. Thomas Helvic of Port Allen is accused of robbing Home Bank on Ambassador Caffery in October and led police on a chase before crashing his truck into a fence in a field. Helvic was shot and killed in the field. He is the same man police suspect robbed banks other banks in Lafayette, Alexandria, Broussard, and Opelousas.
District Attorney Mike Harson said his office will review the state police investigation and decide whether the shooting was justified. If the investigation shows the officer was indeed justified in shooting the suspect, his office would not file criminal charges against the officer. However, if the investigation leaves unanswered questions, Harson's office would present the case to a grand jury and jurors would decide the officer's fate.
The officer has been on paid administrative leave until the investigation is complete.