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Schuylkill County Police News

Police: Unwanted Birthday Party Guest Led to Ringtown Shooting

Austin Snyder tries claiming he acted in self-defense.

A dispute over a birthday party guest allegedly led to the shooting last Sunday in Ringtown.

In court documents The Canary has obtained, the fiancé of Austin Snyder, Katy Petrushonis, says he got angry when he found out – while he was out buying auto parts – that an adult male whom he did not like would be at their 3-year-old girl’s birthday party that day.

Petrushonis tells police that when Snyder got home, a verbal fight broke out between the couple and her mother, Holly, who was eventually shot at the end of this altercation on June 16, suffering two gun shot wounds to her thigh during the altercation, police say.

Katy Petrushonis says the verbal altercation got physical when she and her mother tried leaving their home at 527 W. Main St. home with the 3-year-old girl and a 4-month-old boy. Snyder allegedly blocked their exit out the front door.

Petrushonis’ mother tried another way out but Snyder once again blocked that route, the daughter tells police.

As she tried to exit through the basement door, Petrushonis says Snyder grabbed her mother by the hair and pulled her into the kitchen. While doing this, he also allegedly hit Holly Petrushonis in the head up to six times.

All this time, Holly Petrushonis continued to hold the infant in her arms, attempting to shield him from Snyder’s attack, Katy Petrushonis tells police.

Katy Petrushonis attempted to get between the two and saw her mother grab for a knife block in the kitchen. Then, she says, she heard two gun shots. She says she doesn’t remember seeing if her mother actually grabbed a knife or not before hearing the shots.

Holly Petrushonis, who was interviewed by police at Geisinger Medical Center-Danville after being rushed there by helicopter, tells police a similar story but that she did grab the knife block in the kitchen as a means of shielding herself from Snyder.

Police say Snyder tells a somewhat different story about the events that led to him allegedly shooting his possible future mother-in-law.

When police arrived at the scene on June 16, just after 7 p.m., Snyder was already outside the residence. As Trooper pulled up to the area just outside the home on Main St., they say Snyder raised both arms in the air.

Snyder had already placed the gun he allegedly used on top of a vehicle nearby. He was at the scene with his parents, police say.

At the scene, Snyder allegedly told police that he and Holly Petrushonis were arguing in the kitchen and she pulled a knife on him and slashed it in his direction but missed. That’s when Snyder says he shot Petrushonis, allegedly intentionally aiming for her leg.

Later, while being interviewed at State Police-Frackville barracks, Snyder says he acted in self-defense. He denied ever hitting Holly Petrushonis.

However, police say during their visit with her at the hospital, they observed a bruise on her left temple and a small laceration on the top of her head.

Snyder is currently being held at Schuylkill County Prison on $150,000 bail, which he’s trying to have reduced. He’s due back in court for a Preliminary Hearing on July 3 when he’ll answer to charges of felony aggravated assault, multiple counts of reckless endangerment, and endangering the welfare of children.

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