A 23-year-old Phoenixville man is in Chester County Prison after he engaged area police in a nearly two-hour standoff from his Continental Drive home, Schuylkill Township Police said.
Though Antonio Girifalco was heavy armed during the standoff and threatened to shoot himself, family members and authorities, according to police, there were no injuries reported.
On March 8, Schuylkill Township Police were dispatched to the 100 block of Continental Drive for a report of a loud verbal dispute between two men. According to court documents, while the officers were en route, they received an update that a gunshot had been fired.
Once on the scene, police say Girifalco’s mother told them that her son was in the house and was “freaking out.” The women said her son had badly damaged the home’s interior—breaking walls, doors, a bannister, and a book case—and when she approached him he demonstrated signs of mental illness.
“If you have any courtesy, respect, or brains, I’d shut up and leave him alone,” Girifalco, speaking in third person, court document say he told his mother. “Before he killed himself and anyone else that was around.”
The women began to walk away, she told police, at which point Girifalco put a loaded 12-gauge shotgun into his mouth, police say. The woman, at this point, called police.
Police say that when they arrived, Girifalco had locked himself in a second-floor bedroom. As the officers approached the staircase that led to the room, they heard “a gun being chambered and two shells hitting from floor,” according to court documents.
At this point, police say Emergency Response Teams from the area were called. Police say that when the units arrived on the scene, Girifalco began yelling at them to “come after him,” adding that he would shoot them if they did. However, once an armored vehicle pulled up to the home, police say Girifalco shouted at the window that he “was finished” and wanted to give up.
After he was taken into custody, police say they found a rifle, a homemade shotgun, several pistols, and drug paraphernalia inside his room.
Gorifalco was arrested on charges of terroristic threats, recklessly endangering another person, criminal mischief, disorderly conduct, and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was confined to Chester County Prison when he was unable to post bail, according to court documents.
According to The Times Herald, the incident began at 2:25 p.m. Police had closed Oakwood Drive during the incident, but reopened it at 5 p.m.