Sheriff: Burglary suspect dodges bullets, but dies from hanging
Brian Leonardi (Photo source: Jackson Co. Sheriff's Dept.)
Jackson Co. Sheriff's Dept's St. Martin Sub-station
JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -
JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A man arrested for burglary was found dead inside the Jackson County Sheriff's Department's Sub-station in St. Martin Sunday night. Sheriff Mike Byrd said the man committed suicide by hanging.
Earlier Sunday night, deputies responded to a "burglary in progress" call at a home on Tower Bridge Road in St. Martin. The victim's mother called 911 saying her daughter was holed up in her bathroom hiding from a man who had kicked in the door to her home. The frightened woman had called her mom for help, and also phoned her grandfather who lives next door.
While mom called authorities, grandpa grabbed a pistol and headed next door. He confronted the burglar in the kitchen just before he got away. The grandfather told deputies he fired at the vehicle, but didn't hit it. He did get the tag number, which led authorities to Brian Leonardi's home on Popp's Ferry Road in D'Iberville.
Officers from D'Iberville located the getaway vehicle and held the suspect until deputies from Jackson County could arrive. Leonardi, 28, was arrested and charged with Burglary of an Occupied Dwelling. He was taken to the sub-station in St. Martin while deputies collected all the stolen property at the scene.
Sheriff Byrd said Leonardi was in the holding cell awaiting transfer to the Jackson County Adult Detention Center when he hung himself. Emergency crews tried to revive the suspect, but were unsuccessful.
Sheriff Byrd said at the time of his arrest, Brian Leonardi was out on bond. He was already facing two burglary charges from an incident in November.