Home invasion suspect killed by mom protecting her kids, sheriff says

Robert Rheams, 51, was shot and killed after allegedly breaking into a woman's house armed...
Robert Rheams, 51, was shot and killed after allegedly breaking into a woman's house armed with a shovel and a lug wrench, according to the Tangipahoa Sheriff's Office.(TPSO)
Published: Jan. 10, 2023 at 5:12 AM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HAMMOND, La. (WVUE/Gray News) - A man suspected of breaking into a Louisiana home was shot and killed by a woman who was protecting her two children, according to the sheriff’s office.

Authorities with the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office said the shooting happened around 5 a.m. Sunday at a house in Hammond, Louisiana, WVUE reports.

Robert Rheams, 51, was wearing a ski mask and armed with a shovel and a lug wrench when he broke into the home of a woman and her two young children, detectives say.

A physical altercation took place between Rheams and the homeowner, which deputies said ended when the woman shot the alleged intruder. Rheams was pronounced dead on the scene by the parish coroner.

Sheriff’s Office Chief Jimmy Travis said Rheams was out on parole after serving almost 20 years in prison for armed robbery. Detectives tied Rheams to an attempted carjacking hours before and one street over.

Travis said that the car owner was an out-of-state worker staying in a motel who Rheams asked 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 said. “The driver was able to exit the car and flee to safety.”

Travis said the driver was battered and bruised from the attack, and his stuck car was abandoned by the suspect. The chief added that the woman’s house that was broken into appeared “totally random,” and that the two had no prior knowledge of each other.

Travis said the case appears to be a homeowner exercising Second Amendment rights to protect herself and her children from a violent home invasion.

No arrests have been made.