St. Mary

Jan 28, 2013 12:17 PM by Tonya LaCoste

Officer and deputies remembered and honored during news conference

The Charenton officer who died in the line of duty and two St. Mary Parish Sheriff's deputies who were injured were remembered during a news conference in Franklin this morning. Today is about the officer with the Chitimacha Police Department who gave his life protecting and serving, the deputies who were injured, their families and the Lyons family, State Trooper Stephen Hammons said. Wilbert Thibodeaux, 48, is accused of shooting and killing 78-year-old Eddie Lyons before law enforcement arrived on the scene in Charenton Saturday morning.

Authorities say Thibodeaux shot and killed Sgt. Rick Riggenbach. "His heroic actions did prevent other people form being injured. He certainly is a hero," Hammons said about Riggenbach. Riggenbach served 15 years in law enforcement. He served 10 years and eight months with the St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office and four years and five months with the Chitimacha Police Dept. It's a loss for everybody in law enforcement, Hammons said. "We are united as one. It doesn't matter about the shape of our badges or colors of uniforms." Charenton Police arrested Thibodeaux last Tuesday for disturbing the peace. Sgt. Riggenbach was the arresting officer.

The two deputies who were shot are in stable condition. St. Mary Parish Sheriff Mark Hebert would not talk specifically about their injuries. We'd like to fulfill our careers without tragedy such as this, he said. Jason Javier, 23, has been a St. Mary Parish Sheriff's deputy for two years, and Matthew Strickland, 24, worked briefly at the sheriff's office in 2011 and rejoined January. "All I ask is that you continue to pray for all those who put their lives on the line every single day," Herbert said. Javier and Strickland are in stable condition at hospitals in Lafayette and New Orleans.

State Police Colonel Michael D. Edmonson is in Washington D.C. today, but Capt. Doug Cain spoke on his behalf. "We grieve together, we'll heal together," he said.

Thibodeaux is charged 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.

Pictured: The Chitimacha Police Chief holds a picture of Sgt. Rick Riggenbach



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