CRIME

SWAT Standoff Ends After Negotiator Sings 'White Christmas' To Suspect

Officials are calling the fact that no one was injured during the nine-hour standoff a "Christmas miracle."

A SWAT officer in Pennsylvania was able to end a nine-hour standoff in a very noteworthy way ― by singing “White Christmas” to the suspect.

On Dec. 25, the East Vincent Township SWAT team was called to the home of Nathaniel Lewis, 34, a member of the Pennsylvania National Guard, according to CBS Philly.

The incident began after Lewis’ sister-in-law checked on him after other family members had been unable to reach him, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The suspect had been reportedly behaving erratically because he’s separating from his wife, police said. 

Although Lewis had barricaded the door, the relative forced her way in the home. She saw the suspect holding a rifle, which he allegedly used to fire four shots at her, causing her to flee, according to NBC Philadelphia.

She was not injured, police said.

The SWAT team was called to the address to defuse the situation and that turned into a nine-hour standoff, during which Lewis allegedly fired at officers, hitting the SWAT team’s armored vehicle, another home and a civilian’s car in the process, according to local station WGAL-TV.

The standoff ended around 7 a.m. Wednesday morning when Lewis asked if a SWAT negotiator could sing a Christmas carol.

“He requested ‘White Christmas,’ the Nat King Cole version,” Chester County District Attorney Thomas Hogan told the Inquirer.

After that, Lewis came out and surrendered. 

Officers said they found shell casings on the second floor, a rifle, and two magazines on the bed in the master bedroom, according to WGAL TV.

Most important: No one was injured during the standoff.

“That’s a Christmas miracle in our book, all because one negotiator was willing to sing him a Christmas carol,” Hogan told the station. ”[It was a] tremendous job all around.”

Lewis has since been charged with multiple counts of attempted homicide, aggravated assault, and related offenses. He remains in the Chester County Prison and his preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 7, 2019.

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