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UPD makes first New York Safe Act arrest, after man shoots rounds in Proctor Park

By ANGELICA A. MORRISON

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Utica Police made their very first arrest under the New York Safe Act Tuesday, after police say a man fired multiple shots in Thomas R. Proctor Park and then told police he was just target practicing.

Derek Miller, 24, was arrested and charged with criminal possession of a weapon, a D-class felony, reckless endangerment, and discharge of a weapon within city limits.

The incident happened at around 11 a.m. Police said they received several reports of shots fired from the park near Redfield Avenue.

Once on the scene, officers checked the wooded area. Miller exited with his hands in the air and surrendered.

The police investigation found that Miller was shooting a Smith & Wesson M&P .223 rifle.

"What made this particular gun illegal, was the grip that he had on it, which, under the Safe Act, is illegal," said Sgt. Steve Hauck of the Utica Police Department.

Hauck said that this type of gun, with this type of round, has the capacity to travel for miles.

"Regardless of what gun he was shooting," said Hauck. "It's a gun being shot in the city. That's never going to be acceptable."

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