Image source: Tangipahoa Parish (Louisiana) Sheriff's Office
The homeowner and Rheams engaged in a physical altercation that culminated with the homeowner shooting Rheams, authorities said.
Chief Jimmy Travis of the sheriff's office said deputies responded to reports of shots fired at the residence on Klein Road shortly after 5 a.m. The Tangipahoa Parish Coroner's Office pronounced Rheams dead at the scene, authorities said.
Rheams was out on parole after serving about 20 years in prison for armed robbery, authorities said, adding that detectives tied Rheams to a carjacking that took place hours before the home invasion.
Travis said the home invasion and fatal shooting appear to be a case of a homeowner exercising her Second Amendment rights to protect herself and her children, authorities said.
Travis added that no arrests have been made so far amid the investigation, but once it's completed, the case will be forwarded to the district attorney's office for further review, authorities said.
How are folks reacting?
People commenting on the news posted to the sheriff's office Facebook page seemed decidedly pleased with the mother's actions. Some examples:
- "That lady did exactly what she was supposed to do to protect her[self] and her family!" one commenter said. "Let her be and don’t go after her! How about getting her some now much needed therapy because of her needing to do this! Well done Mom!"
- "Play stupid games win stupid prizes," another commenter said. "Justice prevails today; good for her. She acted in self defense and went [to] war for hers — not willingly but necessarily. It’s never a good day when a human being is killed, and this mother will inevitably feel pain and remorse and probably will never be the same ever again, but she needs to proud of her quick thinking and readiness to make 'that call' — them or me. Because that suspect made up theirs when they broke [in] ... this should always be in the forefront everyone’s mind: No, you can never practice an exact scenario, but you can ... sure be ready for one. It can happen to anyone."
- "No arrest should be made," another commenter declared. "She's protecting her home and her children. He was out on bond for doing the same damn thing [he did to her]. Praying for the victim and her kids."
- "Good job, Momma," another commenter wrote. "We protect our children at any cost."