North Carolina: Neighbors invade home with guns, knives
A local pastor said he talked two home invaders into surrendering their weapons and waiting for police while he prayed in a hallway.
What made the incident even more alarming was that the invaders were Pastor Richard Robinson’s neighbors and former church members.
Donna Jean Walls, 49, and Phillip Dwayne Walls, 50, of 5116 Southbrook Drive, Kings Mountain, are accused of arming themselves with handguns and knives and barging into the home of their neighbors, Richard and Debra Robinson, around 6:30 p.m. Monday.
The Robinsons are pastors at In Time Revival Worship Center in Bessemer City, and Richard Robinson said he talked the Walls into surrendering their weapons after his wife fled their home in fear.
Donna Jean Walls ultimately laid a handgun she was brandishing on the Robinson’s kitchen table, Richard Robinson said. A portrait of Jesus at the Last Supper hangs above.
Phillip Walls, dressed in camouflage, also surrendered his weapons. The pastor said he confiscated the weapons until police arrived.
Phillip and Donna Jean Walls have a history of synthetic drug use, according to Sgt. Talmadge McInnis with Gaston County Police Department. Other officers also have had previous calls about the couple.
“They were aware of these people using bath salts,” he said, adding that the Walls’ address was beginning to be one recognized by police.
The chemical in bath salts mimics cocaine. Bath salts, which can be snorted, injected or smoked, began popping up in stores about two years ago and are clearly marked “not for human consumption.”
The federal government has outlawed selling or possessing specific ingredients in the bath salts, but manufacturers continue to alter their recipes and skirt the laws.
‘She was acting like a wild animal’
Here’s how the Robinsons describe the situation that unfolded in their home on Monday:
Debra Robinson said her son-in-law talked on the phone with Phillip Walls, who repeated her husband’s name over and over. Soon after, the Robinsons received a call from their son-in-law cautioning them that something wasn’t right. Debra Robinson said it crossed her mind the Walls could be coming near but they didn’t know for sure.
Minutes later, Richard Robinson said he opened the front door to look out, and the Wallses barged in with handguns and knives.
Phillip Walls was armed with a silver Taurus .44-caliber revolver and a green military bag with several more firearms and a knife, according to arrest warrants. Donna Jean Walls was reportedly armed with a Springfield Armory 9 mm pistol.
Debra Robinson said Donna Jean Walls waved the handgun around in the air vigorously. Phillip Walls is also accused of holding the firearm in the air, according to arrest warrants.
“They just came stumbling in, waving a gun like someone was after them,” Debra Robinson said. “She was delusional. She was acting like a wild animal.”
Reporting the home invasion
Frightened, Debra Robinson ran out her front door to the mailbox at the road with a phone in hand to call police.
Richard Robinson said the Wallses were hallucinating, under the impression that someone was under their home trying to kill them. Debra Robinson said the couple was prepared to gun down anyone who walked through the front door of her own home after they barged in.
“It’s still frightening. It’s still dangerous and frightening,” Debra Robinson said.
When they reportedly barged into the home, the Wallses were also toting a duffel bag with jewelry, guns and wigs inside, Debra Robinson said.
“They pretty much had their own little army,” she said.
The Robinsons say Phillip and Donna Jean Walls used to attend their church but had recently withdrawn.
Richard Robinson said he talked to the couple, and they surrendered their weapons to him. Phillip Walls asked the pastor to pray, and he did so in a nearby hallway. Luckily, no one was injured and police arrived soon after.
“I just said, ‘Dwayne you’re in my house. Ain’t nobody going to hurt you. Give me the gun,’” he said.
Before the alleged home invasion, Donna Jean Walls discharged a gun approximately seven times, according to a warrant affidavit. Debra Robinson said the random firing of the gun unfolded outside as Robinson chased dogs around in the road and through a neighbor’s yard.
Sgt. McInnis said she rolled around in a yard with the gun and dogs; the shots weren’t really aimed at or intended for anything.
“Trying to make sense of what they’re doing is virtually impossible,” he said.
Authorities found shell casings on the ground and neighbors witnessed the gun-firing, according to arrest warrants.
The arresting officer had the Wallses involuntarily committed, but the couple was released from psychological treatment once they came down from the high, McInnis said.
They were then booked into jail.
They were each charged with going armed to the terror of the people and breaking and entering. Donna Jean Walls faces an additional charge of discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a residence that is not her property, a Gaston County ordinance, according to arrest warrants.
The Walls were held at the Gaston County Jail under $20,000 secured bonds.
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