April 30, 2018

Hawley man arrested for firing gun in occupied home


HONESDLE -- Shawn Birtel, 47, of Hawley faces numerous felony charges related to a shooting in Hawley Borough during the early morning hours of Tuesday, April 24.

The shooting occurred at approximately 2 o’clock in the morning at Birtel’s residence along Route 6. The incident involved five named victims, including several children.

A 20-year-old victim had called 911 to report that Birtel was intoxicated and had grabbed an assault-style weapon from under his mattress and was trying to find ammunition for the weapon while saying, “I’m going to kill them all.” Eventually the assault weapon was taken from him.

Police say Birtel later demanded his rifle back and then obtained another firearm and began shooting from his bedroom. The five victims eventually locked themselves in an upstairs bedroom, where Birtel allegedly banged on the door trying to gain entrance.

The victims escaped from a second story window. The victims then met the State Police when they arrived on the scene.

Birtel was taken into custody and charged with six counts of aggravated assault, and one count of discharge of a firearm into an occupied structure, all felonies. He was also charged with 16 misdemeanor counts including terroristic threats, endangering the welfare of children and simple assault. Bail was set at $300,000.

 “The State Troopers out of the Honesdale and Blooming Grove Barracks made a quick response to this senseless incident,” said Wayne County District Attorney Patrick Robinson “We are very lucky that no one was injured or killed. This case is just another sad reminder that firearms and alcohol do not mix.”

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