A Chester County man was found guilty on multiple charges after he barricaded himself inside his home, and fired shots at special operations officers and his sister-in-law nearly three years ago, authorities said.
Nathaniel Lewis, 35, of Spring City, was found guilty of attempted murder, aggravated assault, possessing an instrument of crime, and related offenses.
Officers responded to a well-being check at Lewis' house on Aftons Circle in East Vincent Township on Dec. 25, 2018. Lewis' wife contacted police after her sister, one of the victims, found him barricaded inside the house, according to the Chester County District Attorney's Office.
When his sister-in-law forced her way into the house, she found Lewis sitting on a bed with a rifle. As she turned to flee, he fired four shots in her direction, authorities said.
The Chester County Regional Emergency Response Team arrived and tried to get him to surrender. During the negotiations, he threatened to "kill police" and "shoot up the neighborhood," the DA's office said.
During the seven-hour standoff, Lewis fired dozens of shots at ERT members, striking an armored police vehicle once.
An ERT member returned fire twice but no one was injured.
He surrendered on Dec. 26 after a detective sang “White Christmas” to him at his request, the DA's office said.
Investigators later found spent shell casings and a rifle inside the home.
He will be sentenced at a later date.
“The defendant’s dangerous actions imperiled the lives of everyone who was there to help him on Christmas Day in 2018 and could have ended tragically for many families if not for the courageous actions of the ERT," DA Deb Ryan said.
"Every member of the ERT is a hero for putting their life at risk for the safety of everyone that long night. Thank you to them, East Vincent Twp Police and Chester County Detectives, for de-escalating a dangerous situation to a safe resolution, just as they are trained to do.”
East Vincent police, ERT, and Chester County Detectives investigated. Chief DDA Michele Frei and ADA Justin Roberts were the prosecutors.
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