Charenton Shooter Sent to Mental Facility - KLFY News 10

Charenton Shooter Sent to Mental Facility

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Submitted by Tommy Good Submitted by Tommy Good
LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - A 48-year-old Charenton man arrested in the January killing of a police officer and another man, and the wounding of 2 sheriff's deputies, is now in the mental facility of a state prison.

Attorney Craig Colwart tells The Advocate Wilbert Thibodeaux is being held in the mental ward of Elayn Hunt Correctional Center in St. Gabriel.

Colwart says Thibodeaux's location reinforces early indications that Thibodeaux is mentally unstable and unfit for trial, Colwart said.

Thibodeaux was arrested after he allegedly shot and killed Chitimacha Tribal police Sgt. Rick Riggenbach on Jan. 26.

On that same day, Thibodeaux allegedly shot Eddie Lyons and burned down his home where Lyons' body was found.

Thibodeaux also is suspected of wounding two St. Mary Parish sheriff's deputies.

  

 


 

 

 

Charenton Shooter Sanity Hearing

An attorney for the 48-year-old Charenton man accused of killing a police officer and another man last month says he will seek to have his client examined by a two-doctor sanity commission.

Public defender Craig Colwart tells The Advocate on Tuesday that Wilbert Thibodeaux "exhibited bizarre behavior" before and after the Jan. 26 shootings that also wounded two St. Mary Parish deputies.

Colwart said he and other investigators are conducting interviews to get a picture of Thibodeaux's life in the weeks leading to late January.

Thibodeaux is being held on two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted first-degree murder and one count of arson.

 

 


 

 

Multiple Officers Shot in St. Mary Parish

NEW ORLEANS Police on Saturday arrested a man suspected of fatally shooting a police officer and critically wounding two sheriff's deputies after allegedly setting fire to a mobile home in south Louisiana, where an elderly man's body was found.

A Chitimacha tribal officer was pronounced dead at the scene of the shootings in Charenton, while two St. Mary Parish sheriff's deputies were critically wounded and taken to local hospitals, said Louisiana State Police Trooper Stephen Hammons.

 Hammons said the officers were responding to a report of an armed man walking down a road near the Cypress Bayou Casino when Wilbert Thibodeaux, 48, of Charenton allegedly shot them.

"Thibodeaux fired at the Chitimacha Officer, fatally wounding him," state police said in a news release. "As two St. Mary Deputies, who were in the same car, arrived at the scene Thibodeaux fired multiple shots hitting the deputies. During the encounter, Thibodeaux was shot."

Investigators found the burned remains of a man after extinguishing a fire at a mobile home that Thibodeaux is suspected of setting before the officers confronted him, Hammons said.

Police identified the deceased man in the mobile home as Eddie Lyons, 78, of Charenton. "Detectives suspect Lyons was shot by Thibodeaux before the fire," state police said in a news release.

Thibodeaux was treated at a hospital for a gunshot wound that wasn't considered life-threatening and released, according to Hammons, who said investigators were questioning him Saturday evening. Charges against him are pending.

The state Fire Marshal's office is investigating the fire.

"Today is a difficult day for our partners in St. Mary Parish," Col. Mike Edmonson, the State Police superintendent, said in a statement. "My thoughts and prayers are with the deputies and the officer's families tonight. I know the coming days and weeks will be difficult ones for the men and women of the Chitimacha Police Department and the St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office. We will assist their agencies in any way we can during these trying times."

The casino is run by the Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana and is less than a quarter-mile from the scene of the shootings. Hammons said the shootings occurred near but not on tribal land.

"Everybody is just in shock. It's small-town America," said Jacqueline Junca, the tribe's secretary and treasurer.

Police didn't immediately release the names of the officers. Authorities said they will do so at a Monday news conference.

Tribe councilman Toby Darden said the slain officer was married and had two grown children, but he declined to give his name.

"He's a real great guy. Extremely dedicated to his job. Very brave," Darden said.

He was one of seven full-time officers who patrol a 260-acre reservation that has roughly 150 homes, a grocery store, a small school and government offices.

"Everybody knows the officers personally," Darden said. "It's devastating."

Junca said the tribe has around 1,200 members, roughly half of whom live on the reservation.

Access to and from the casino was restricted for roughly 90 minutes as a precautionary measure while police responded to the shooting, said casino spokeswoman Nancy Herrington. Charenton is located about 45 miles southeast of Lafayette.

"We are very much in business and have been," Herrington said later Saturday. "We have events tonight. All of those are taking place."

A spokeswoman for the sheriff's office and a tribal police dispatcher referred questions about the shootings to the State Police.

"We've got a lot of unanswered questions," State Police Capt. Doug Cain said.

One of the injured deputies was taken to a hospital in New Orleans and the other was taken to a Lafayette hospital. Both were listed in critical but stable condition Saturday evening, Hammons said.

  

 


 

Charenton Man Shoots and Kills One Person, One Officer and Leaves Two Deputies in Critical Condition

CHARENTON- Today, Detectives with Louisiana State Police were contacted by St. Mary Parish Sheriff Mark Hebert and requested to investigate an officer involved shooting in Charenton.

Shortly before 10:30 a.m., Deputies with St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office and an Officer with the Chitimacha Police Department responded to a report of a man armed with a shotgun walking in the 10000 block of Flat Town Road in Charenton. When the Officer arrived on the scene he encountered 48-year-old Wilbert Thibodeaux of Charenton. Thibodeaux fired at the Chitimacha Officer, fatally wounding him. As two St. Mary Deputies, who were in the same car, arrived at the scene Thibodeaux fired multiple shots hitting the deputies. During the encounter, Thibodeaux was shot. Other responding Deputies took Thibodeaux into custody without further incident.

A mobile home fire, believed to be set by Thibodeaux prior to officer's arrival, was extinguished by firefighters. Once extinguished, Detectives and State Fire Marshal Investigators discovered the body of 78-year-old Eddie Lyons of Charenton in the home. Detectives suspect Lyons was shot by Thibodeaux before the fire.

Thibodeaux was treated and released from the hospital. He is currently in State Police custody. His charges are pending.

The two deputies are in critical but stable condition. One is at a hospital in New Orleans and the other is at a hospital in Lafayette.

The shooting remains under investigation by State Police. The fire remains under investigation by the State Fire Marshals Office.

"Today is a difficult day for our partners in St. Mary Parish," said Colonel Mike Edmonson, State Police Superintendent. "My thoughts and prayers are with the deputies and the officer's families tonight. I know the coming days and weeks will be difficult ones for the men and women of the Chitimacha Police Department and the St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office. We will assist their agencies in anyway we can during these trying times."

On Monday, St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office, the Chitimacha Police Department and State Police will hold a press conference to release the names of the officers involved and speak about their service to their community. The time of that press conference will be released when details are available.


From State Police: Names of the Deputies shot will not be released until Monday.

Update: The suspect in custody for the fire and shootings has been identified as Wilber Thibodaux.

From State Police: Another body was found with a gunshot wound behind a mobile home that was set on fire. Trooper Stephen Hammons says they do not know what the exact cause of death was as of yet.

Shooting in Charenton By Erin Nicole: St. Mary Parish Sheriffs deputies responded to the call of a fire Saturday morning at a residential neighborhood near Cypress Bayou Casino. When they arrived they encountered a trailer home on fire and a man with a gun.

Three officers were shot. One officer with the Chitimacha Reservation was killed. One officer was air-lifted to a Lafayette hospital in critical condition. Another officer was air-lifted to a New Orleans hospital in critical condition.

The suspect was taken into custody and charged. The exact charges have not been released. The names of the officers and suspect have not yet been released.

The crime scene is very large so many agencies are working the situation. The fire was contained.

La. trooper: 1 officer fatally shot, 2 wounded

CHARENTON, La. (AP) - Police have arrested a man suspected of shooting and killing a police officer and wounding two sheriff's deputies near a south Louisiana casino.

Louisiana State Police Trooper Stephen Hammons said a Chitimacha tribal officer was pronounced dead at the scene of Saturday's shootings near Charenton, while two St. Mary's Parish sheriff's deputies were critically wounded and taken to local hospitals.

Hammons said the officers were responding to a fire at a trailer home near the Cypress Bayou Casino when the unidentified man allegedly shot them. The names of the suspect and the officers weren't immediately released.

Hammons said firefighters were still trying to extinguish the blaze.

 


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