SPRING CITY, PA — A Spring City man has been convicted of a handful of charges after he barricaded himself inside his home and fired dozens of rounds at first responders and his sister-in-law on Christmas Day 2018.
Nathaniel Lewis, 35, was found guilty of attempted murder, aggravated assault, possessing an instrument of crime and related offenses, the Chester County District Attorney’s Office announced on Saturday. He will be sentenced “later,” the office said.
On Dec. 25, 2018, Lewis’ wife contacted police after her sister found him barricaded inside his residence, located on Aftons Circle in East Vincent Township.
When Lewis’ sister-in-law forced her way inside his house, she found him sitting on a bed with a rifle. As she turned to flee, he fired four shots in her direction, the District Attorney’s Office said.
The Chester County Regional Emergency Response Team (ERT) arrived at Lewis’ house in the early hours of Dec. 26 and began negotiating with him. During the negotiations, Lewis threatened to kill police and shoot up the neighborhood, the District Attorney’s Office said.
“Over the next seven hours, the defendant fired dozens of shots in the direction of ERT members, striking an armored police vehicle once,” the Office said in a statement. “An ERT member returned fire twice to prevent death or injury to others. No one was injured.”
Lewis surrendered after Chester County Detective Jerry Davis sang “White Christmas” to him at his request, the Office said.
Investigators later found spent shell casings & a rifle inside the residence, the Office said.
“The defendant’s dangerous actions imperiled the lives of everyone who was there to help him on Christmas Day in 2018 & could have ended tragically for many families if not for the courageous actions of the ERT,” District Attorney 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 & Chester County Detectives, for de-escalating a dangerous situation to a safe resolution, just as they are trained to do.”
Judge Jacqueline Cody presided over the trial. East Vincent Police, ERT, & Chesco Detectives investigated. Chief DDA Michele Frei & ADA Justin Roberts were the prosecutors.
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