Man breaks into home of mother of three. Problem for intruder? Mom is a sheriff’s deputy — and she doesn’t hesitate to use her gun.

News & Politics

One guy sure picked the wrong house to break into last week — and he didn’t stop at just one.

What are the details?

Bart Anthony Coniglio forcibly entered a family member’s home in Wilmington just before 1 p.m. last Wednesday, WECT-TV reported, citing the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. A female who made a 911 call said it was her son, the station added.

After she escaped out the front door with a friend, the pair ran to a neighbor’s home — which happened to be the residence of New Hanover County sheriff’s deputy Leyla M. Davis-Woodhouse, a mother of three who was off duty with her kids, the station said.

Authorities said Coniglio then forcibly entered the deputy’s home, where a physical altercation took place, WECT said.

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Turns out the woman who ran from the first house was still on her call to 911 — and was now describing events while hiding in a bedroom in the deputy’s home, the station reported.

“He’s trying to get in her house,” she said, according to WECT. “She’s fighting with him outside.” The station added that moments later, the caller said, “She’s trying to get him out of the house … he won’t get out.”

What happened next?

Other neighbors told WECT that Davis-Woodhouse warned Coniglio to not come any closer or she’d have to draw her gun — and then moments later, they heard two shots.

“She shot him or something,” the caller said, according to the station.

Minutes later Davis-Woodhouse called 911 and said, “This man has pushed his way into my house, and I shot him twice. They need to get here now,” WECT reported.

Then Davis-Woodhouse shouted, “Stay down, you hear me?” after which she told the dispatcher, “He fought me on the porch and pushed his way inside my house,” the station said.

More from WECT:

Conigilio is no stranger to law enforcement. According to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, the 40-year-old is a convicted felon who has a criminal record dating back to 2002 for offenses ranging from resisting an officer, to possession of controlled substances, to multiple DWI arrests, and embezzlement. He has not done any prison time in North Carolina.

Coniglio also has pending court dates on more than a dozen criminal charges in New Hanover County, including Assault on a Female, Domestic Violence Protective Order Violation, Habitual Assault, Probation Violation, and giving Fictitious Information to an Officer.

What else do we know the suspect?

Coniglio was hospitalized and was being treated as of Wednesday, WLOS-TV reported.

A family member filed a Jan. 8 domestic violence protective order against Coniglio that said he has “ongoing mental health issues,” the StarNews reported. The family member wrote that she feared her safety, and Coniglio “believes he is possessed by demons and that people are going to shoot him.”

What else do we know about the deputy?

The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office said it hired Davis-Woodhouse in August 2014 as a detention officer and promoted her to deputy in May 2018, the paper said. She moved to the patrol division in July 2018 and was promoted to detective on Feb. 9, 2021, the StarNews said.

(H/T: The Police Tribune)

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31 Comments

    1. Naw, JoEllen. We need to work on D-W’s marksmanship. Two to the head would have obviated the need for a trial. It would have cleared the docket in a couple of other legal matters also.

    1. It’s called a “magazine”. A “clip” is like a stripper clip that you use to load a magazine.
      But you are still correct in your thinking.

      1. Bruce – On an emotional level, I’d have to agree. However, the reason for using potentially deadly force, a firearm, is to stop the threat. If the threat continues after the first couple of discharges, additional force, even potentially deadly force, may lawfully be employed. That Deputy Davis-Woodhouse apparently had to shout to the Suspect, “Stay down, you hear me?” is an indication that the threat was continuing, so additional shots to the Suspect might be justified. Just emptying the magazine without regard for there being a continuing threat is a formula for getting a murder charge or, should the Suspect not expire, a charge of assault with a deadly weapon; if charged, tried, convicted, and sentenced to incarceration, a former Deputy (or any law enforcement officer) would not have an easy time of it in fashion-right orange!

        Bottom line: When using potentially deadly force to assure one’s safety and/or the safety of others for whom one is assuming responsibility, the law-abiding American must be more rational than criminals usually are. Only fire to make the threat cease, or be prepared to take your lumps while incarcerated.

        Cogito, ergo armatus sum.

        1. Dear Drawer 22-
          I believe it has been proven that one .45 ACP placed squarely between the eyes usually “stops the threat”. Also saves money & ammo.

  1. “…and Coniglio “believes he is possessed by demons and that people are going to shoot him.””
    Gotta’ give him credit! The dude was right! ; D

  2. I agree. I think they should both sue the city. The detective for having to shoot someone that should have been in custody. The felon for being allowed to get out of jail and end up being shot. Until the legal system can do the right thing they should be held personally liable.

    1. A criminal breaks into someones house, AND YOU’RE BLAMING EVERYONE BUT HIM????? What is the matter with you? You are the epitome of a bleeding-heart, turn-the-other-cheek liberal who thinks that all a criminal needs is a big hug, and they will make nice!
      That’s not how the real world works, Bub! Your home is your SANCTUARY!
      What’s your solution, genius? Ask him to wait while you call 911? Or wait ’til he puts a knife in your heart, so you’re sure he means to harm you? People like you make me want to throw up!!

      1. Hold on…Maybe I wasn’t clear. The justice system lets the felons out to roam the streets as predators without regard for their future victims. What I was trying to imply was that he was “only doing what he does(a predator)” be facetious. Trying to imply the current sentiment that “they didn’t keep him in custody so it’s their fault he was shot). I see so many cases where someone commits a felony only to get released right back onto the population. It’s a problem with the judicial system and it’s causing havoc on the law abiding citizens. In this case I believe that our “felon” and those involved with releasing him should be held accountable both criminally and civilly. There isn’t an ounce of liberal in me. I think if you do the crime and live through it you should spend every minute of your FULL sentence. Without TV and internet and all of the other conveniences they get.

      2. If I was confronted with this situation, I wouldn’t just shoot twice. I would make sure the person was dead. That way the probalem is solved. No sute filed and no more issues with this con of a bitch.they will not brerak into anyone home again.

        1. And then you would go to jail for a long time. You shoot to STOP, not to KILL. Legalese maybe, but hopefully thedifference in what you tell the police won’t get you indicted. I know everyone says that they would never say, ‘Yeah, I killed him’, but from a police perspective, when under stress a person will often revert to the truth in an exclamatory way. I speak from experience.

          Just be able to justify every shot, because you will be asked, whether in an interview room Or a court room. Say the wrong thing and even your mouthpiece won’t save you.

    2. Maybe you’ll be next Mike, and YOU can reason with the thug …. oh, but wait….. you don’t have a gun.

  3. We the people must have the right to defend ourselves. In this case it’s clear the justice system failed. Thankfully this nut was stopped. The next one may be coming to visit you. Are you ready?

  4. Mike you are 100% correct. The cop did the right thing but the courts dropped the ball. He should have been in jail or at least in a straight jacket.

    1. The problem now is that the law is “vague” and heavily influenced by politics. If you are faced with a similar situation and some liberal “justice system” feels like you committed a crime you could end up in a jail cell waiting serious charges. Don’t believe me ask the young man sitting in a Wisconsin jail waiting murder charges for the most clear cut self defense I have ever seen. The idiot letting the felons roam freely should be held accountable.

  5. Interesting, mother called 911. Mother and friend fled to New Hanover County sheriff’s deputy Leyla M. Davis-Woodhouse, a mother of three who was off duty with her kids. Ms. Davis tried to phycally fight off Bart Anthony Coniglio and eventually had to shoot him 2 times (non fatal shots). Then Ms. Davis had to call 911 to report the event and ask for help. So…..to all the anti-gun people, how long do you think you would have survive before the police arrived?

  6. Back to the range, Deputy. Dead men do not testify in civil or criminal trials. You get 3 days off without pay. You will spend those 3 days at the gun range. Next time, empty your gun on the perp.

    1. Mozambique drill. Two to center mass. If that stops him, great. If not, one to the head. Justified if he is still trying to harm you. But if he drops his piece and then you shoot him, better have a good story.

  7. For those of you who have never been in this type of situation, you must always be ready to take the shot. Light levels, noise, skill, current social events all play into the decision making process. But in the end, I will say this. Shot placement, follow up and firepower saves lives every time. Her biggest problem now is either an ACLU or ANTIFA lawyer.

  8. The Deputy did what she was trained to do, she hit just where she was aiming , as far as the criminal , he was locked up and then turned loose , letting criminals back on the street is the new policy right now from liberal states all over the USA , prepare yourself its only going to get worse.

  9. She only wounded him,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, She needs to requalify @ the range!!!!!

    1. william couch – While sidearms/handguns are easier to carry, easier to conceal (primarily for the comfort of hoplophobes), and generally handier than long arms (rifles, shotguns, and AOWs), they are notoriously underpowered when compared to the effectiveness of long arms. As a result, relatively few threats receive fatal shots from handguns. Too, training usually emphasizes aiming for center of the threat’s mass, typically in the area slightly lower than the sternum; this is to help preclude missing the target entirely. (Shootings by law enforcement officers generally range in only 12½ – 16⅔% hits anywhere on the Suspect, the remainder hitting innocent bystanders or flying off to only God knows where.) Those with more advanced training and frequent, consistent practice know to aim high-center of mass, as that’s where all the “good stuff” is. That area is, of course, smaller than the typical center of mass box. A notable problem in addressing targets is that a threat is often moving and the threat’s movements are not necessarily predictable.

      One item not mentioned in the article is the Deputy’s handgun (presumably, though not mentioned) caliber, which may well have been .22, .25, .32, or .38, for all we know. As an experienced combat Veteran, former law enforcement officer (LEO), and certified Instructor of firearms safety and skills, the recommendation I give to all students is to carry a firearm with a caliber starting in “.4” and to carry that primary weapon at all times, unless going into a firearms-restricted area where one is likely to be caught violating the law. To emphasize the “Rule of 4,” I show a picture of a Suspect hit 31 times with 9mm shots, some in the area of the heart and also in the head. Bear in mind that the 9mm bullet is the same diameter as a .38 caliber, and neither is anywhere near as effective in creating large drainholes as a .4# caliber round. Given the popularity of the less effective 9mm issued or required by many law enforcement agencies, it is rather likely that the Deputy was firing a 9mm handgun, so the chances of the threat dying of wounds received in the encounter would be lessened.

      What is striking to me, as a “Monday morning quarterback,” is that the Deputy did not press the trigger for an additional carefully aimed shot to the Suspect’s right or left tear duct, given the fact that the threat still existed, as exemplified by the Deputy having to warn the Suspect again, after already having put two rounds into him.

      De Oppresso Liber

  10. I feel sorry for the Detective and the city. Surely, both will be sued for any number of reasons his lawyer can dream up and their lives will never be normal again. And to avoid litigation cost, a criminal be made well monetarily. Our system sucks .

  11. For God’s sake. Save the taxpayer’s some stress and dispatch this person. He meant to do fatal harm to these people. Double tap the s.o.b. and be done with it. Do we need to go back to 1870 with six-shooters on everyone’s hips and let Marshal d

  12. Clip, magazine, pistol, handgun, gun, we get what happened. I would like to buy Ms. Davis-Woodhouse some ammo so she can get some more range time. With 2 shots, 1 should have been in the heart and the other in the head.

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