CHESTER COUNTY, Pa. (CBS) — A Christmas day barricade situation ended in an unusual manner after the East Vincent Township SWAT team used a different tactic — singing a Christmas carol. The incident began when family members called police to the home of 34-year-old Nathaniel Lewis, a member of the Pennsylvania National Guard.READ MORE: Ardmore Music Hall To Require All Staff, Guests To Wear Masks Beginning Thursday
Authorities say Lewis was behaving erratically due to separating from his wife. When police arrived, they found out that Lewis had a gun and the SWAT team was called in to help diffuse the situation.
During the 10-hour standoff, the #ChesterCounty DA posted on Facebook that he came to the scene and handed out #Christmas cookies to “cold and tired” SWAT members https://t.co/wW0pT2QJab pic.twitter.com/RrpYF6qgOW
— Matt Petrillo (@MattPetrillo) December 27, 2018
An hours-long standoff ensued with Lewis firing at police officers from a second-story bedroom. Bullets struck the sides of an armored police vehicle, a civilian’s vehicle, and a nearby home.READ MORE: Trenton Man Charged In Deadly Sunday Shooting, Mercer County Prosecutor Says
“We were putting our kids to bed around 9 and heard what we thought was a firework,” said neighbor Megan Flynn.
Megan and Matthew Flynn said a SWAT team rushed them and their kids into a basement, saying they were responding to a barricade situation with their neighbor.
Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan says police initially conducted a wellness check on Lewis after his wife asked for a separation. Lewis refused to come out of the house, and then took his rifle, firing some 20 shots at officers outside.
Nearly nine hours later, Lewis demanded a negotiator sing him “White Christmas.” Four verses later, Lewis came out.
“This is as close to a Christmas miracle as you’re gonna get. Everybody got to go home to their families that day. The SWAT team got to go to their families. The defendant was taken into custody, but he wasn’t killed,” said Hogan.
Lewis was taken into custody at 7 a.m. on Wednesday. He has been charged with multiple counts of attempted homicide, aggravated assault, and other offenses.MORE NEWS: WHAT WAS THAT?: Why Delaware Residents Felt Earth Shaking Wednesday Morning
He is being held at the Chester County Prison.