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SWAT officer ends Christmas standoff by singing ‘White Christmas’ to suspect who’d barricaded himself with gun

What a sad story

JOHAN NILSSON/AFP/Getty Images

A Pennsylvania SWAT officer was able to diffuse an hourslong standoff situation by singing "White Christmas" to a suspect who'd barricaded himself with a gun and had opened fire on police officers.

What are the details?

The situation unfolded on Christmas Day, when a man identified as Nathaniel Lewis of East Vincent, Pennsylvania, reportedly barricaded himself inside his home and began firing at police officers.

Family members of Lewis, 34, phoned police to report that he had been acting erratically upon separating from his wife.

When officers arrived, they saw that Lewis had a weapon, and called SWAT for backup.

According to KYW-TV, the standoff spanned hours, and Lewis eventually began firing on law enforcement officials from inside his home.

The station reported that Lewis' bullets struck a police vehicle, a civilian vehicle, and a neighboring home. No officers or civilians were hurt by Lewis' bullets.

At one point during the standoff, a SWAT officer began singing "White Christmas" to the suspect and was able to get Lewis to surrender himself over to the authorities.

Authorities took Lewis into custody around 7 a.m. Wednesday morning and charged him with several counts of attempted homicide, aggravated assault, and other related offenses.

What else?

In a statement, Chester County District Attorney Thomas Hogan said, "While the rest of the world was going to bed after a long Christmas Day, our office officers were laying their lives on the line for hours in the bitter cold."

East Vincent Police Chief Matt Williams, who is also the SWAT leader, said, "Incidents like this are why our SWAT team trains constantly. Despite the extreme danger to the police officers, the team responded calmly and professionally, resulting in the eventual surrender of the defendant."

The Daily Local News reported that Lewis, a National Guardsman, was armed with a rifle.

Police took Lewis to the Chester County Prison. His preliminary hearing is set for Jan. 7, 2019.

One last thing…
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