Three men arrested in connection with shooting death of Heber 7-year-old

Posted at 10:06 PM, Jul 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-11 21:28:22-04

HEBER CITY, Utah — Police have arrested three men in connection with the death of a young girl who was hit by a stray bullet Friday night inside her home.

According to family members, 7-year-old Zaydanielys Rodriguez Irizarry died at a local hospital after suffering a gunshot wound. Her father says the bullet came through the wall of their apartment.

WATCH: Family mourns loss of 7-year-old girl killed by stray bullet

Christopher Robert O'Connell, 34, was arrested Saturday on suspicion of manslaughter, as well as other potential charges.

Two other men, 36-year-old Colin David Howells and 21-year-old Trever Joe Pinter, were also arrested for alleged crimes, but not directly for the girl's death.

When police responded to the girl's family's apartment at Wasatch Commons in Heber City, they found O'Connell nearby. Detectives say his speech was slurred, he was not complying, and he had a handgun on him.

Police say the three men were together in one of the neighboring apartments that night. Detectives also spoke with two women who were with the men. The women told police O'Connell was waving a gun around at one point.

During their investigation, police say they found a bullet hole in the wall of the apartment that continued into that of the 7-year-old's family.

O'Connell admitted to being under the influence of alcohol and prescription drugs. Detectives also say they found marijuana in the apartment where the bullet hole was found, adding that it was "in the same room and within reach" of firearms.

Howells was booked on suspicion of sexual battery and intoxication after the women told police he and O'Connell sexually assaulted them in Pinter's apartment. O'Connell, however, was not booked for sexual assault, although the police report states that the women accused both men of doing so.

O'Connell's additional counts include possession of marijuana, intoxication, carrying a weapon under the influence, and possession of a weapon by a restricted person. Court records show he pleaded guilty in 2017 to driving under the influence.

Pinter was arrested for obstruction of justice because police say he interfered with the investigation. Howells also faces an intoxication charge.

Pinter is allowed to be released on $1,500 bail with certain conditions, and Howells is as well with bail set at $2,000.

O'Connell was ordered to be held without bail.

The suspects have not yet been officially charged in court.