01/29/2013

Slain La. police officer hailed as a hero

Authorities say his actions protected others from being injured

By PoliceOne Staff

FRANKLIN, La. — The community is praising the officer who was killed in the line of duty Saturday, saying that his heroic actions saved others at the time of the shooting that wounded two other officers.

Sgt. Rick Riggenbach, 52, was a 4-year veteran of the tribal police department and served 10 years at St. Mary Parish before that, according to the Associated Press.

"His heroic actions did prevent other people from being injured," Louisiana State Police Trooper Stephen Hammons said at a press briefing Monday. "He certainly is a hero."

Officers Jason Javier, 23, and Matthew Strickland, 24, are still in the hospital recovering from the incident.

Little information is available regarding the shooting and Riggenbach’s actions.

Wilbert Thibodeaux, who was also shot during the confrontation, was arrested on murder and arson charges. He is accused of gunning down an elderly resident, Eddie Lyons, 78, and setting fire to a mobile home before shooting the officers.

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