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Mother fatally shoots intruder armed with a shovel to protect her children

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Posted at 8:30 AM, Jan 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-10 11:01:28-05

A Louisiana woman shot and killed a home invasion suspect to "protect herself and her children," local authorities said.

The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office said deputies responded to a shooting in Hammond shortly after 5 a.m. on Sunday.

Detectives determined the suspect, identified as 51-year-old Robert Rheams, was armed with a shovel and a lug wrench when he forced entry into the home of the victim and her two young children, law enforcement officials said.

Authorities said the homeowner and Rheams got into a fight during the incident, which ended with Rheams being shot. He was pronounced dead by the Tangipahoa Parish Coroner's Office.

Rheams was out on parole after serving about 20 years in prison for armed robbery, authorities said. Officials also tied Rheams to an alleged carjacking that happened hours prior to the home invasion.

Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office Chief Jimmy Travis concluded the case appears to be a "homeowner exercising Second Amendment rights to protect herself and her children from a violent home invasion."

No arrests were made in the investigation. Once the investigation is complete, the case will be forwarded to the district attorney's office for further review.