"We see it on TV but when it touches home its reality," says Cynthia Bartley, neighbor of the late Eddie Lyons who was killed Saturday near his home in Charenton.
A Chitimacha Police Officer and civilian shot to death, two other officers critically wounded, and at least three structure fires; no one in the small community could have predicted such a tragedy.
Lillian Butler lives down the street and has lived in Charenton her entire life "We kept praying the police didn't die that the rumors weren't true but it was real."
The suspect, 48 year old Wilbert Thibodaux is being held in the Iberia Parish jail. He was arrested and charged with two counts of first degree murder, two counts of attempted first degree murder and one count of arson. He has at least two prior arrests that police are investigating and neighbors say despite a quiet demeanor he started causing trouble earlier in the week.
"I didn't think it would come to this but he started showing signs two weeks ago, he came to the casino and started trouble" says Cynthia Bartley.
Emotions are running rampant throughout the community and agencies suffering the loss and injury are working diligently to comb the quarter-mile crime scene. Superintendent of State Police Mike Edmonson says he is focusing on facts.
The two injured officers are said to be in stable condition, one in Lafayette the other in New Orleans.
"Our prayers are with them, we need prayers… the healing needs to begin" says Edmonson.
"I didn't know the officer but my heart goes out to him and his family, all the families it's just sad" says Lillian Butler.
Multiple agencies continue to investigate the crime scene. Working to bring justice for the fallen officer, all of the families and a community still mourning.
Mike Edmonson "it's not the shape of the badge or color of uniform… we're going to get to the bottom of this"
A press conference to release the names of the officers and speak about their community service is scheduled for tomorrow with the St Mary Parish Sheriff's Office, State Police and Chitimacha Police Department. A prayer vigil is scheduled Wednesday night at 6 pm at the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church.