Children escape through second-story window after father opens fire

Posted at 10:27 PM, Apr 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-24 22:27:30-04

HAWLEY, Pa. — A father of three is behind bars after troopers say he started shooting inside his home in Wayne County, Pennsylvania, sending family members scrambling for safety.

State police say Shawn Birtel, 47, pulled a gun and started firing in the early morning hours on Tuesday while his three children were inside.

Birtel’s kids and their friends, who were home at the time, escaped through a second-floor window around 2 a.m., according to WNEP. An emergency ladder could still be seen later that day, dangling from an open window of the home along Route 6 in Hawley.

Troopers say Birtel was drinking with friends when he became combative, pulled out a pistol and began shooting, saying, “I’m going to kill them all.”

According to court papers, Birtel’s children took a high-powered rifle from him so he couldn’t use it. The children are 20, 15, and 11, authorities say. Along with two friends, they were able to get to safety thanks to the chain ladder.

No one was shot and Birtel surrendered when state police showed up. Troopers confiscated the rifle.

He’s now facing possible prison time for assault, endangering the welfare of children, and other charges.

Birtel is locked up in the Wayne County Correctional Facility.