Would-be robber fatally shot by resident after forcing family into basement

A man was shot and killed inside a home in Hammond, Indiana, Friday morning while attempting to rob the residents.

According to a statement from the Hammond Police Department, the suspect, who has not been publicly identified, entered the home through the front door around 7:30 a.m. The suspect said he knew of a safe in the basement of the home and announced a robbery while threatening the residents with the firearm.

The suspect then forced three residents into the basement, but unbeknown to the would-be robber, there was a fourth resident inside the house as well. The fourth resident retrieved a handgun, and when the suspect came out of the basement and walked into the kitchen, he shot the suspect multiple times in the chest.

Police were called, and when officers arrived on the scene, the suspect, who was only identified as a black male, was found lying on the kitchen floor. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

All four residents were taken into police custody for questioning but released soon thereafter. Police say they have fully cooperated with the investigation and no charges have been filed against the shooter, who told police he had the handgun for self-defense.

According to The Times, children’s bicycles and other toys were clearly visible outside of the home, but no children were home at the time of the attempted robbery and subsequent shooting.

City Councilman Anthony Higgs, who saw the residents leave with the police from across the street, said, “Community safety is a top priority.” Higgs, who spoke with officers on the scene, said he came to the area after receiving a call from a concerned citizen.

The incident led police to advise a nearby elementary school to keep the students inside, but later informed the school that all suspects were accounted for and the area secure.

Authorities did not say what, if any, items were taken from the safe.