Mother kills man armed with shovel, lug wrench during home invasion

HAMMOND, La. — Deputies said a woman was protecting herself and her young children when she opened fire on an intruder, killing him.

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The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that deputies were called for a report of shots fired at a home shortly after 5 a.m. on Sunday. Deputies determined that a suspect, identified as Robert Rheams, was armed with a shovel and a lug wrench when he forced his way into the victim’s home.

Deputies said there was a woman in the home with her two young children. The woman and the suspect got into an altercation, which “ultimately led to Rheams being shot by the homeowner,” the sheriff’s office said. Rheams was pronounced dead at the scene.

“This case appears to be a homeowner exercising second amendment rights to protect herself and her children from a violent home invasion,” Chief Jimmy Travis said in a statement.

No arrests were made and the case was forwarded to the district attorney’s office for review.

Rheams was out of jail on parole when he was killed, having served approximately 20 years in prison for armed robbery, deputies said.

Detectives said that before breaking into the victim’s home, Rheams was involved in an attempted carjacking. Travis told WVUE that Rheams had asked an out-of-state worker for a ride.

“During the drive, he started striking the driver with his fist and the driver ran into a ditch, causing the car to become stuck,” Travis told the station. The driver was able to run away to safety.