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Slain officer hailed as "hero" after shootout

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Posted: Jan 28, 2013 10:15 AM by Russell Jones
Updated: Jan 28, 2013 11:19 AM
Source: WBRZ

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Topics: deputies shot, charenton, st. mary parish, Wilbert Thibodeaux, mobile home fire, Chitimacha Tribe officer, shootout

CHARENTON - Authorities called a Chitimacha tribal officer killed by a gunman this weekend a "hero," saying he continued to try and save the lives of people in the line of fire before he died.

State Police said 48-year-old Wilbert Thibodeaux shot and killed Sgt. Rick Riggenbach Saturday in Charenton. Thibodeaux is also accused of wounding two St. Mary Parish deputies, Jason Javier and Matthew Strickland. Sheriff Mark Hebert said both deputies were still recovering in the hospital today.

Investigators said earlier that day Thibodeaux shot and killed 78-year-old Eddie Lyons of Charenton, then set his mobile home on fire. Officers were called to the area by people who said Thibodeaux was seen walking down the street with a shotgun and a gas can. When officers arrived Thibodaux opened fire on them, and was shot during the confrontation before he was arrested.

Authorities are still looking into Thibodeaux's past, and said today they would not release more information before consulting with the district attorney to protect the integrity of the investigation.

News 2's Michael Shingleton will have more details on this investigation starting at noon.

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