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Authorities are investigating a shooting in which three officers were shot and one of them has died. It happened in the town of Charenton, which is located in St. Mary Parish. The Louisiana State PoliceMore >>
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CHARENTON, LA (WAFB) -
Authorities have released the names of the police officer who was shot to death and the two sheriff's deputies who were wounded in a shooting Saturday morning.
Sgt. Rick Riggenbach of the Chitimacha Police Department was killed in the attack. Deputies Jason Javier, 23, and Matthew Strickland, 24, of the St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office are recovering at hospitals in Lafayette and New Orleans.
Chitimacha Police Chief Blaise Smith confirmed Riggenbach had just arrested the suspected shooter, Wilbert Thibodeaux, 48, just days before.
A news conference was held Monday morning in which investigators with the Louisiana State Police offered their condolences for the victims of the shooting.
"You can see the unbelievable support for the law enforcement community," said Capt. Doug Cain with LSP. "And, as we go through this process, we certainly grieve together, we'll heal together and we'll never forget the sacrifice and the service of these officers."
The shooting happened in Charenton around 10:30 a.m.
Sheriff Mark Hebert said Javier and Strickland are doing well and in good spirits. Javier has been with SMPSO for two years. Strickland worked briefly with the sheriff's office in 2011 and rejoined earlier this month.
Troopers said the law enforcement agents were shot when they responded to a call of a man walking the streets with a weapon.
Wilbert Thibodeaux, 48, was arrested in the incident.
The Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal said a nearby mobile home was on fire and the body of Eddie Lyons, 78, was found inside once the fire was put out.
Investigators believe he was shot before the fire sparked and Thibodeaux is suspected of starting the fire.
Thibodeaux is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder. He is being held in the Iberia Parish prison.
Authorities have not stated whether or not he had a criminal record, but did confirm there had been complaints about him recently from people in the area.
Funeral arrangements for Sergeant Rick Riggenback have been scheduled:
Visitation is Wednesday, January 30, 2013 from 3 to 10 p.m. at Twin City Funeral Home, 412 Fourth St. in Morgan City, LA.
Visitation will also be held Thursday, January 31, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Crossing Place Church, 1096 North West Boulevard in Franklin, LA.
The funeral service will follow at 2 p.m.
The burial will be at the Morgan City Cemetery & Mausoleum, 450 Myrtle Street, in Morgan City.