Names of fallen officer, injured deputies released

Monday, January 28, 2013 - 12:30pm

The Louisiana State Police and State Fire Marshal’s Office held a press conference this morning to discuss new details regarding the shooting in St. Mary Parish that claimed the life of a civilian, a police officer, and injured two deputies.

Officials have released the name of the officer who was killed and the two deputies who were critically injured.

Sgt. Rick Riggenbach was pronounced dead at the scene on Saturday, Jan. 27. He had been employed with the Chitimacha Police Department for roughly 4 years and has been in law enforcement for the past 15 years. He is also a veteran of the Navy.

The two deputies with the St. Mary Sheriff’s Office are Jason Javier, 23, and Mathew Strickland, 24. We're told they are both out of critical condition, but remain in the hospital at this time.

Chief Blaise Smith with the Chitimacha Police Department described Sgt. Riggenbach as a “hero who helped to save the lives of the two deputies.”

The incident happened around 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 26. on 10000 block of Flat Town Road in the town of Charenton. Both agencies were responding a call that a man was walking down the road with a shotgun. When they arrived on scene, the suspect, Wilbert Thibodaux, 48, opened fire.

“Together, we will grieve. Together, we will heal. And together, we shall never forget his service and sacrifice,” Col. Mike Edmonson, Louisiana State Police, said on Sunday.

Thibodeaux was apprehended after he too was shot. He was transported to a local hospital for treatment.

Officials have also connected Thibodeaux to a mobile home fire near the scene where the shooting occurred. They believe Thibodaux shot and killed Eddie Lyons, 78, and started the fire to cover up the murder.

Thibodeaux has been released from the hospital and is charged with two counts of First-Degree Murder, two counts of Attempted First-Degree Murder and one count of Arson. He was booked into the Iberia Parish Jail.

Chief Smith noted that Thibodeaux was arrested on Tuesday, Jan. 22 for Disturbing the Peace. He says Sgt. Riggenbach was the arresting officer. However, he does not believe the two cases are connected at this time.

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