Final farewell to a fallen hero

POSTED: Monday, June 13, 2011 - 5:39pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, June 22, 2011 - 6:51am

The funeral service for Captain Rhett Jeansonne was held Monday, June 13 in Denham Springs. Jeansonne was one of two agents killed in the line of duty, while serving a cease and desist order in Ville Platt last week for the Department of Insurance.

Along with his work in the fraud division, Jeansonne served as a volunteer firefighter in Livingston Parish for Fire District 5. Today, his friends and co-workers mourned.

“You do it because you love it, and Rhett was one of those who loved being a firefighter, he loved being a first responder and helping people,” Vincent Lagattuta, fellow volunteer firefighter for District 5, said.

“A go to guy,” Assistant Chief Mickey Sharp, childhood friend and co-worker of Jeansonne, said when describing his friend. “Somebody would have a little problem, and they would go to him to talk to him about it."

Jeansonne’s body was transported to his final resting place in Baton Rouge by the Spirit of Louisiana – the fire truck sent to New York after 9-11 and then returned back to Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina.

“It was real tragic,” Fire Chief Elmer Knab, District 5. “Something that should not happen. The fire service is rough enough as it is, but to have one go out there and have something like this happen, it's just a tragic thing and something should be done about it, to keep it from happening again.

Investigator Kim Sledge was also killed in that shooting in Ville Platte Tuesday. Police say the two were shot by John Melvin Lavergne when collecting information for an investigation.

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