In Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana a mother defended herself and her children after 51-year-old Robert Rheams invaded her home wielding a shovel and a lug wrench. At around 5 a.m. Sunday, the mother, after struggling with the attacker, shot and killed Rheams.
According to a statement from the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office posted on social media,
“During the incident, a physical altercation took place between Rheams and the homeowner which ultimately led to Rheams being shot by the homeowner. Rheams was later pronounced deceased on scene by the Tangipahoa Parish Coroner's Office.
At the time of the incident, Rheams was out on parole after serving approximately 20 years in prison for armed robbery. Detectives have also been able to tie Rheams to a carjacking which occurred hours prior to the home invasion.”
Law enforcement officials told CBS News that Rheams was connected to a carjacking just hours before. The ex-convict was on parole after spending almost twenty years in prison for armed robbery.
The police chief told WVUE Fox 8 Live that the owner of the carjacked vehicle was an out-of-state worker who was lodged at a local motel when Rheams asked him 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 Fox 8. “The driver was able to exit the car and flee to safety.”
The carjacking victim was reportedly left beaten and bruised with his immobilized vehicle abandoned by Rheams near the scene. Rheams then moved on to break into the the family residence where he was killed.
Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office Chief Jimmy Travis added that as of Monday, no arrests had been made in connection to the shooting. When the investigation by the Sheriff's office is completed the case will be passed on to the Tangipahoa Parish District Attorney's Office for further review, according to KHOU-TV.
Travis concluded the statement by adding that the incident seems to have been a “homeowner exercising Second Amendment rights to protect herself and her children from a violent home invasion.”
According to Louisiana's law governing self-defense, “A homicide is justifiable: When committed in self-defense by one who reasonably believes that he is in imminent danger of losing his life or receiving great bodily harm and that the killing is necessary to save himself from that danger.”