Sean Connery, as police officer Jim Malone in 1987’s “The Untouchables,” once accused a would-be assailant of being so dumb that he brought a knife to a gunfight. (OK, technically he accused him of being so Italian that he brought a knife to a gunfight — but the implication was clear enough.)
One wonders what Malone would have said about a guy who brought a lug wrench and a shovel to a gunfight. Nothing positive, probably.
Nevertheless, that’s what happened early Sunday morning in Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana, about 45 miles east of Baton Rouge and roughly the same distance west of the Mississippi border.
According to a Facebook post form the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office, 51-year-old Robert Rheams armed himself — if it can be called that — with a pair of household tools and then “forced entry into the home of the victim and her two young children.”
Except that this was one victim who refused to be victimized.
The unnamed resident of Hammond, Louisiana, engaged in an unspecified “physical altercation” with the intruder. The result: homeowner 1, home invader 0.
Rheams was shot in what Chief Jimmy Travis described as a “homeowner exercising second amendment rights to protect herself and her children from a violent home invasion,” according to the Facebook post.
The Coroner’s Office pronounced him dead at the scene.
Rheams had recently been paroled after spending nearly 20 years in prison for armed robbery. But that’s not all.
Travis said no arrests had been made and that the District Attorney’s Office would review the case following the investigation.
The entire announcement from the sheriff’s office appears below.
Comments on the Facebook post were largely supportive of the homeowner’s actions.
“That lady did exactly what she was supposed to do to protect her and her family! Let her be and don’t go after her!” wrote Facebook user Aaliyah Ross. “How about getting her some now much needed therapy because of her needing to do this! Well done mom!”
User Helen Tarwater said that she had known the deceased and, while she understood and supported the mother’s action in defense of herself and her children, she couldn’t help but be saddened by the death of a man she thought of as a friend.
“I am in no way protecting him or the things he did. I worked with him and he really was trying to turn his life around but unfortunately the streets was still running through his veins,” she wrote. “I helped him out with work clothes and dress up clothes to help him out. [It’s] a tragic what happened to the homeowner and her babies and I justify on what she did to protect her and them. [It’s] a sad situation all around and in the end of it all is she is ok and so are her babies. He did a horrible thing and he can only answer to God now for his sins.”
“I would do the same thing she did if he broke into my home also,” she added.
“THIS is why crimes like this are so sad,” user Carolyn Beeson replied. “No matter how HORRIBLE of a human someone may be, there is ALWAYS someone who cares for them. I’m sorry for your loss but I’m also glad that this mother and her young children are safe!”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.