Findings indicate Iberia Parish man in custody shot himself

The findings of an investigation into the death of a handcuffed Iberia Parish man in March are leading detectives to conclude he was not shot by police, a spokesman for State Police said Friday.

“He shot himself with a weapon that is not used by the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office,” Master Trooper Brooks David said Friday. David said he could not release any other information about the case.

Victor White III, 22, was killed on March 2 in the back seat of an Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office car, with his hands bound behind his back.

Police have said White was arrested after a fight in New Iberia. He was in the back seat of a squad car that had ferried him to the Sheriff’s Office for booking when the gunshot that killed him went off.

State Police at the time said White refused to get out of the car when ordered to do so. As a deputy was requesting assistance, White shot himself in the back, officials said.

Trooper Stephen Hammons, who was a spokesman for State Police Troop I at the time, said in March that authorities were investigating how White got the gun.

State investigators have not said whether they believe White meant to shoot himself or if they believe the shooting was accidental. They also have not said if White had a gun that officers missed during the arrest.

Sheriff Louis Ackal asked State Police to investigate the incident. State investigators have not yet turned the investigation over to the 16th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

Iberia Parish Coroner’s Office official Henry Rivet said late Friday he didn’t know what an autopsy had revealed in White’s death.

The circumstances surrounding White’s death has led to some public protests by National Action Now of New Orleans and the Rev. Raymond Brown.

Brown led a sparsely attended demonstration at the Iberia Parish Courthouse the week after White died. He and others called for Justice Department intervention and also for donations to conduct an autopsy.