A Louisiana mom who shot dead a home intruder early Sunday morning had
woken up to find the ex-con with a shovel and wrench in her bedroom,
Robert Rheams, 51, entered a Hammond home before 5 a.m. Sunday, walked
past a child sleeping on the living room sofa and into a bedroom where the
homeowner slept, a Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office spokesperson told
Fox News Digital.
A "physical altercation" broke out when the mother of two woke up, said
Jimmy Travis, the sheriff's office chief of operations.
"In fear of her safety and her children, she was able to retrieve a
handgun where she fired one shot, striking the home intruder," Travis said
in a phone interview on Tuesday.
Rheams was struck in the thigh, with a bullet striking his femoral artery.
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No charges had been filed as a result of the shooting Tuesday though the
investigation is ongoing, authorities said.
"This case appears to be a homeowner exercising second amendment rights to
protect herself and her children from a violent home invasion," the
sheriff’s office said on Facebook.
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Rheams had a substantial rap sheet before his death, including a cocaine
distribution conviction in 1997. He served about 21 years in prison for an
armed robbery he carried out in 2001, Travis said. Authorities also linked
him to a carjacking just hours before the home invasion.
Travis told Fox News Digital that Rheams had gotten into a disagreement
with a woman at a motel in the area and was offered a ride by another
occupant of the motel.
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After driving to a residence where no one answered the door, Rheams
returned to the car and began "attacking" the driver of the vehicle,
Travis said. The car wound up in a ditch, according to Travis, and the
driver fled from the area. Rheams allegedly tried to drive off with the
vehicle, but couldn't get it out of the ditch.
The residence where Rheams was shot is about three blocks from where the
carjacking took place, Travis said. He added that there is no indication
that the homeowner and Rheams knew each other, speculating that Rheams
likely randomly targeted the home to steal a car.
Once the investigation is complete, the case will be sent to the district
attorney's office for further review, according to the sheriff’s office.