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After recent arrests, West York police share message with residents: 'Gun-related crimes will not be tolerated'

Chief Matt Millsaps said the recent disturbing trend of juvenile offenders with guns will not be tolerated by his department.
Credit: FOX43

WEST YORK, Pa. — The West York Police Department issued a message to residents Thursday after a recent firearms-related arrest:

Gun-related crimes will not be tolerated in the borough, Chief Matt Millsaps wrote on the department's Facebook page.

Millsaps' message came days after two suspects were arrested and charged with brandishing a handgun and threatening to kill another man during a confrontation in the borough Monday afternoon.

According to police, the two suspects approached a teenager and his father at their home and challenged and threatened the teenage victim.

When the victim's father attempted to intervene, police said, one of the suspects produced a handgun and threatened to kill the father.

Both suspects then fled the scene, police said.

The victims contacted authorities, who responded within minutes, but were unable to locate the suspects. 

The incident was captured on surveillance cameras, and police were able to use the footage to identify the suspects. A search warrant was obtained and executed, and the suspects were located. An adult suspect was charged with firearms violations and other offenses, while a juvenile suspect was identified, with charges pending, police said.

The adult suspect was arraigned and committed to York County Prison, despite the fact that he was already on house arrest for prior gun charges in York City, West York Police said.

Working with the school district and JEU, actions have been taken to support the juvenile victim in this case to ensure their safety, according to police.

In his Facebook post, Millsaps reiterated his department's stance on gun crimes and issued a message to those "that wish to jeopardize the safety of our neighborhoods by bringing illegal guns and violence to our streets."

Gun-related crimes will not be tolerated, he said. Those who wish to engage in violent behavior with guns will be held accountable.

"While we readily embrace the idea that this fight against violence must be solved by looking at root causes and bigger picture societal issues, our priority as the police is to keep the community safe, and we are doing that by targeting violent actors and incarcerating them," he said. "That is the most immediate way to ensure the safety of our public as we see these types of incidents increase in number lately."

Millsaps said there is a recent, "disturbing" trend in the borough -- the frequency with which his officers encounter juvenile offenders with guns.

"These juveniles must understand that if they want to act like adults, they will be treated as such in terms of accountability," he said. "They can rest assured that, if caught here with guns, they will be, as the law allows, placed into secure detention and whenever possible, charged as adults through the direct file procedure and taken to York County Prison."

GUN RELATED ARREST & MESSAGE TO OFFENDERS On Monday, September 19th at roughly 4:15 p.m. (after school), two...

Posted by West York Borough Police Department on Wednesday, September 21, 2022

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