Police say the Australian man was gunned down before the intruders fled empty-handed.
An Australian has been shot dead in his home in Texas after confronting two intruders while his wife and children slept.
Police believe Brenton Estorffe, 29, woke up to the sound of glass breaking about midnight on Wednesday local time (Thursday AEST) and went to see what was happening.
One of the intruders fired almost immediately, killing Mr Estorffe, before fleeing with nothing, according to police.
Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office said detectives were investigating the "apparent burglary" including a tip off that a car was seen speeding away from the home.
"We have a homeowner now, here in Fort Bend County, who is no longer with us," Sheriff Troy Nehls told local media. "And the father of two small children. Breaks your heart."
Police have asked neighbours if they have any surveillance cameras, but there is still no information about the suspects.
Mr Estorffe, originally from Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast, moved to the US to play gridiron as a punter, playing a season of college football for Southern Virginia University in 2012.
He met his wife Angeleanna and settled in Katy, Texas where they had two children, now aged 3 and 1.
His younger brother Cobin, who also lives in Katy, said his brother was a hero for protecting his wife and children.
"Life will never ever be the same without you. Hands down you are my hero the way you stood up for your family," he posted on Facebook.
"Can only dream to be a little bit like you. Thanks for the amazing times we had together."
Local television station Khou 11 spoke to neighbour Kimberly Patel who recently met the family.
"I can't imagine what the wife is going through right now," she said.