Man arrested for manslaughter in shooting death of Heber City 7-year-old girl


HEBER CITY, Utah (ABC4) – A Heber City man is facing charges of manslaughter in the shooting death of a 7-year-old, Friday night.

On July 10, 34-year-old Christopher O’Connell was booked into the Wasatch County Jail and faces one count of second-degree felony manslaughter and possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person as well as additional charges of possession of a controlled substance, carrying a dangerous weapon under the influence, and intoxication.

Two other men, 36-year-old Collin David Howells, and 21-year-old Trever Joe Pinter were arrested on unrelated charges to the shooting but police say they are involved in the incident.

Police state they were called to the apartments on a report that a 7-year-old girl, later identified as Zaydanielys Rodriguez Irizary, had been shot through the wall of their apartment.

Danny Rodriguez, the girl’s father told ABC4 he received a call from a friend while at work that his daughter was on the floor bleeding. He rushed home and took her to the hospital where she died from her injuries.

Arresting documents state, O’Connell and Howells are coworkers and they have known each other for awhile. As officers arrived at the complex, they encountered O’Connell who was intoxicated, uncooperative, and non-compliant. Police observed what appeared to be a firearm near his beltline and protruding from his t-shirt. During a search of the O’Connell, the gun was discovered and seized by police.

Detectives spoke with two women who were in the apartment with the three males. They said O’Connell had sexually assaulted them in another apartment, where Pinter lives. The women stated they observed O’Connell pull a firearm out and wave it around while intoxicated, and they asked him to put it away.

During an interview with police, O’Connell said he had consumed alcohol and took four pills of Clonazepam and he had also given Howell’s some of the prescription pills.

Police were able to locate a bullet hole that had gone through the wall of bedroom belonging to Howell’s and that the same bullet had continued through the wall of the next apartment complex and into the young girl.

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