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Family sues Iberia sheriff, deputy over mentally ill man's shoot - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Family sues Iberia sheriff, deputy over mentally ill man's shooting death

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NEW IBERIA -

An Iberia Parish mother has filed a federal lawsuit against Sheriff Louis Ackal and one of his deputies in last year's fatal shooting of her son, whom she's said suffered from a mental illness that was known to his community and law enforcement.

Shannon Labit, 40, died at his home last summer after an hours-long standoff with the sheriff's SWAT team, which responded to reports that Labit had stabbed two people near his home.

Labit's mother, Mary Ann Gachassin, filed the suit on July 3, naming Ackal and Deputy Isaiah Rochon as defendants. She seeks monetary damages for the loss of her son's life, which she said violated his civil rights.

The Daily Iberia first reported the lawsuit on Wednesday.

According to the suit, "Labit's mental condition was well known in the community," including by law enforcement, "who had previous non-violent interactions with him."

The night of his death, Labit was accused of stabbing two people near his McDonald Street home. The sheriff's SWAT team was called to the scene.

Labit's family tried to intervene on behalf of him, adding that they indicated to police that Labit "suffered from mental illness, fears the police, and would cooperate with and respond to his family," but deputies wouldn't allow them near their relative, the lawsuit claims.

"Instead, the deputies directly confronted and provoked Labit, who was allegedly wielding a knife in plain view," the suit states.

Rochon, the deputy who fired the shots, was placed on administrative leave after the shooting but has since returned to active duty, Iberia Sheriff spokesperson Wendell Raborn said on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Louisiana State Police has concluded its investigation into the shooting and forwarded it to the 16th Judicial District Attorney's Office for review, a spokesperson told KATC back in April.

District Attorney Bo Duhé said Wednesday his office received the file in May, and the case is still under review.

"We'll make a decision at some point, hopefully in the near future, of what, if anything, to do in the case," Duhé said.

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