Slidell homeowner opens fire on men trying to break into home

Slidell homeowner opens fire on men trying to break into home

SLIDELL, LA (WVUE) - Police said a St. Tammany Parish homeowner opened fire on three men after two of them tried to force their way into his Slidell home to rob him Sunday night.

Residents of the Regal Estates subdivision are supporting one of their own after the brazen attempted home invasion.

"If people are going to come in with bad intentions, they ought to go out on a stretcher," neighbor Charles Cochran said.

"Somebody intrudes in your house, I mean that's your house, you're going to defend it no matter what," resident Rhonda Lipp said. "I'm a full believer in that."

The St. Tammany Sheriff's Office said one of the suspects knocked on the victim's door around 9 p.m., saying his car had broken down and he needed to use a phone. A second man, wearing a mask, then came from behind some bushes and pointed a gun at the homeowner's head. The homeowner pulled his own gun, and the men exchanged fire before the two suspects hopped into a waiting pickup truck.

"I mean it's shocking," Lipp said. "I still can't believe it's two doors down from me. Kinda scary."

Late Sunday night, police found the suspects' pickup truck in New Orleans East. It had a bullet hole in the rear passenger side door. Inside the cab, police said they found duct tape, latex gloves and a mask.

"Gives me the creeps," Lipp said.

"It don't make me feel good, I know that," neighbor Will Clark added.

Robert Steel and Dustin Rupple were found Monday morning at a home in Lacombe. Anthony Ward was taken into custody by NOPD at University Medical Center, where he was treated for a gunshot wound. Despite this being a quiet, safe area, the victim's neighbors said it proves, no neighborhood is immune to violence.

"I think it becomes more and more imperative that us law abiding citizens are going to have to arm ourselves because we're going to have to protect ourselves," Cochran stated.

All three suspects will be charged with attempted armed robbery with the use of a firearm. Investigators said additional charges are expected.

The homeowner was not injured in the shooting.

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