An Algiers, Louisiana couple were unwinding on their back patio about 10:00 PM Wednesday night when a man in a mask emerged with a gun in his hand, demanded money, and forced them inside.

While details of precisely what went on inside are still sketchy, that the husband was able to obtain one of his firearms and use it effectively is not in doubt.

An Algiers man, 28, and his 36-year-old wife were on their backyard patio around 10 p.m. when a 25-year-old gunman, his face covered in a mask, walked up and demanded they give him money, police said.

The gunman ordered the couple into their home in the 1800 block of West Homestead Drive, where the couple’s three young children – ages 6, 13 and 14 – were inside, police said.

At some point the husband was able to retrieve his gun, police said, and fatally shot the gunman, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

Times-Picayune reporters followed the obnoxious tradition of referring to the deceased armed robber as the “victim” of the incident. Journalists tend to reflexively label those shot during a crime a “victim,” even if they were in fact the perpetrator. The real victims are those who are the targets of these violent crimes, who sometimes are forced to take the lives of criminals to protect their families.

Neighbors are blaming the city for the incident, which is part of a long string of crimes plaguing the area. One resident said that many streetlights in the area still haven’t been replaced after Hurricane Katrina, and that has made the neighborhood a target for criminals coming into the commit crimes under the cover of darkness.

We don’t know how many Algiers city workers it takes to change a light bulb, but we do apparently know that it takes at least nine years to do it.