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Young Sons Help Save Mom From Dad

Three Louisiana boys helped save their mother after their father threatened to shoot her, authorities said Monday.

Authorities from the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office said the boys - ages 10, 12, and 14 - came to their mother's rescue after their father threatened her with a gun at their home in Moss Bluff. The couple wrestled to the ground, the man dropped the gun, and one of the boys picked it up and emptied it of ammunition. A second son then got another gun and used it to order their father off of their mother, authorities said.

According to a statement from the sheriff's office, the woman told deputies that her husband had about 30 guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition. "I think those kids are very brave," Sheriff Tony Mancuso said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. The couple's oldest son is 14; his brothers are 12 and 10 years old.

Their father, whose name The Associated Press is not using to protect the boys' identities, was wearing body armor and a bullet-resistant helmet when he was arrested Saturday night after a 4-mile (6.5-kilometer) chase, Mancuso said. He was arrested on charges of with second-degree murder, domestic abuse child endangerment, aggravated assault with a firearm, illegal discharge of a weapon, illegal discharge of a weapon during a crime of violence, illegal use of body armor during a crime of violence, and flight from an officer. His bond was set at $247,000. It was not clear whether he has an attorney.

Mancuso said the husband had no previous arrests and had never been named in a domestic violence complaint. The sheriff's office news release said the woman told investigators that she and her husband were driving home when he threatened to shoot her with a pistol that was in his lap. Shortly after arrival, "she went outside and Moreau followed her with the pistol behind his back and then fired a shot at her and they began wrestling," the statement said.

The boys went outside to try to help their mother. Moreau dropped the pistol, and one of the boys grabbed and unloaded it while another "ran in the house and retrieved another gun and ordered Moreau to get off the victim," the news release said. The man then ran into his house while his wife and children ran to a neighbor's, where they stayed until deputies arrived.

The person who called the sheriff's office said Moreau was wearing a bulletproof vest and walking around firing rounds from a semi-automatic rifle, according to the news release. He was leaving in his pickup truck when deputies arrived and refused to stop for them, starting the car chase.

At its end, Mancuso said, "He had weapons on him, he had body armor on him. He was yelling at them and telling them he wanted them to shoot him. They had great restraint." One deputy used a stun gun to subdue him, Mancuso said.

A new state law requires all guns to be taken from a domestic violence scene, Mancuso said. "If convicted of this crime he'd never be allowed to have guns again," he said. Mancuso said he couldn't release even the ages of which boy emptied the pistol and which got the second gun. "But I'm very proud of them for doing it. ... I obviously don't condone the use of violence, but I think they were just trying to protect their mother," he said.