Hastings man charged in case of shots fired in Utica cemetery

By WKTV News

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - A Hastings man is facing charges after police say he was firing at deer in a Utica cemetery.

On September 13, Utica Police responded to the area of Calvary Cemetery for reported shots fired. During the investigation, officers located a deer that had been shot. Police said the deer was shot in the dark of night and out of season for deer hunting. A brief foot pursuit of multiple suspects was conducted that night as suspects fled into the densely wooded area.

During the preliminary investigation, Utica Police officers also located an occupied vehicle in the area which contained weapons and ammunition. The Utica Police then contacted the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), and Environmental Conservation Officers Russell Ritzel and Steve Lakeman who took over the investigation.

Police said the DEC was able to obtain further information that led to the arrest of Hieu T. Nguyen, 23, of Hastings.

Utica Police Spokesperson Sgt. Steve Hauck said the case was able to come to a close thanks to the DEC for their expertise in this case, which they said "helped close a case of illegal hunting, discharge of a weapon within the city limits and which endangered the residents of the area."

Nguyen has now been charged with the taking of big game during the closed season, possessing a loaded gun inside a motor vehicle, taking a deer with artificial light, and raking wildlife while in or on a motor vehicle.

Police said Nguyen also faces pending charges of discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a house and discharging of a firearm in the city limits.

Police said a mugshot of Nguyen was not immediately available

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