Off-duty deputy, mother of three shoots intruder who was forcing his way into her home as her kids ran for help

NORTH HANOVER COUNTY, NC – A mother of three, who also happens to be a sheriff’s deputy, was said to have shot a man who reportedly forced his way into her home on February 24th. 

And apparently, the suspect involved in the matter had allegedly forced his way into another home nearby just minutes prior to trying to break into the off-duty deputy’s home. 

According to reports, the incident allegedly started off with the suspect, identified as 40-year-old Bart Anthony Coniglio, trying to forcibly enter the home of one of his relatives within the 4500 block of Barnards Landing Road in Wilmington around 12:42 p.m. on February 24th. 

One of the residents inside of the home called 911, saying the following: 

“He’s breaking in my door right now.”

The unidentified female residents then reportedly ran out of her house with one of her friends, and headed over to a neighbors house that happened to be the residence of a New Hanover County Sheriff’s deputy, later identified as Leyla M. Davis-Woodhouse.

Coniglio was alleged to have chased the woman and her friend over to the off-duty deputy’s home – where Deputy Davis-Woodhouse was at home with her children at the time.

All this is still ongoing while the woman from the first home that Coniglio had tried allegedly breaking into was still on the line with the 911 dispatcher. 

This woman was reportedly inside of one of Deputy Davis-Woodhouse’s bedrooms, giving a breakdown to the dispatcher as Coniglio tried to allegedly force his way into the off-duty deputy’s home: 

“He’s trying to get in her house…She’s fighting with him outside.”

“She’s trying to get him out of the house…he won’t get out.”

Other neighbors had began to hear the commotion going on at Deputy Davis-Woodhouse’s home claim to have heard the off-duty deputy warn the suspect to not come any closer or she’d have to unholster her firearm. 

Then, two shots were reportedly fired by Deputy Davis-Woodhouse. 

With the first woman to have called 911 still on the line, she’d said to the dispatcher: 

“She shot him or something.”

At approximately 12:48 p.m., Deputy Davis-Woodhouse called 911 herself, saying the following: 

“This man has pushed his way into my house and I shot him twice. They need to get here now.”

The off-duty deputy informed the dispatcher about what preceded the shooting, saying: 

“He fought me on the porch and pushed his way inside my house.”

Coniglio’s current condition is unclear as of this time, but he was reportedly transported to New Hanover Regional Medical Center following the shooting. 

Bart Anthony Coniglio - North Carolina Department of Public Safety
Bart Anthony Coniglio – North Carolina Department of Public Safety

Outside of the recent allegations, Coniglio is said to have several other pending court dates linked to over a dozen other charges that range from assault on a female, domestic violence protective order violation, habitual assault, probation violation, and providing fictitious information to an officer. 

Furthermore, Coniglio is also a convicted felon with a criminal record that dates back to 2002.

Deputy Davis-Woodhouse has been with the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office since August of 2014, starting out initially as a detention officer. She then moved up to deputy in 2018 working the patrol division, before getting promoted to detective on February 9th of 2021.

The State Bureau of Investigation is currently handling the investigation into this case. It is unclear exactly what charges Coniglio is facing in relation to this incident. 

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In other recent reports regarding home owners fighting off intruders, an elderly Vietnam veteran in South Carolina recently took down an intruder who tried attacking his wife. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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AIKEN, SC — An armed intruder picked the wrong house to invade and paid a heavy price when he was severely beaten by an elderly Vietnam veteran protecting his wife who was slashed by the suspect’s knife.

The suspect, Harold Runnels, 61, forced his way into the home of 82-year-old Herbert Parrish and 79-year-old Lois Parrish.

Runnels knocked on the back door of the Parrish home around 2 p.m. on Feb. 15. When Lois opened it, Runnels asked if she had seen his dog. She told FOX 57:

“I opened the door and he said he was looking for his little white chihuahua and wanted to know if I saw it. I told him, no, I didn’t.”

Lois then tried to close the door, but Runnels suddenly forced his way into the house and allegedly pulled a large knife and began attacking Lois with the back handle of it.

Lois fell to the ground and injured her left index finger. Runnels used his knife to slice her face, according to FOX 57.

Harold told the news station he feared for their lives:

“I felt, we’re gone. He’s going to kill us and take what he can take.”

Herbert then sprang into action. He grabbed a shotgun that was mounted on a wall and beat Runnels with it until he fell to the ground and became unresponsive, according to WJBF-TV.

Harold said:

“I started hitting him in the head with the barrel and I know I must have hit him at least ten times right in the face, just as hard as I could hit him.”

Capt. Eric Abdullah of the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Herbert “was able to strike Mr. Runnels enough to the point where he fell to the floor still being conscious but unresponsive.”

Aiken County Coroner Darryl Ables confirmed Runnels died at the Augusta University Medical Center later Monday night from the injuries he sustained during the attack, according to FOX 57.

Herbert and Lois recognized Runnels as someone they had seen in the neighborhood, according to FOX 13. WJBF-TV reported that Runnels lived in a nearby mobile home community.

Neighbor Jessica Clark told WJBF-TV:

“This street is normally not that crazy or anything and we all know each other and everything. I never would have expected it to happen here. And so I kinda feel like it puts a stain on this neighborhood in a way.”

Neighbors told the TV station they did not know the suspect and are shocked about the attempted home invasion. Clark said she was relieved to hear the victims were ok. She said Herbert is a decorated vet who fought in Vietnam:

“But when I heard they were able to fend off the suspect, I was so proud of them and I was like, ok, so that guy picked the wrong house.”

Capt. Abdullah said people need to be careful when opening their doors to strangers. In a statement, the captain said:

“We would encourage anyone who encounters suspects that are attempting to unlawfully enter their home, call for immediate help. It is best to get help on the way and give as many details as possible on the suspect(s) as well as reporting the actions of the suspect.”

Clark said that while she used to feel comfortable leaving the doors to her home open, she will now keep them locked:

“You know, it does give us a little bit of paranoia and stuff. I was actually with my sister, helping her that day when it happened.

“And so, I was like, man, what if they would have picked my place? And so that was a little scary for me.”

Runnels’ motive is unknown. His body will be sent to Newberry for an autopsy and toxicology report.

The Aiken County Sheriff’s Office said there will be no charges filed against the victims. While the couple was injured, they are expected to fully recover.

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Author: Gregory Hoyt


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