Three Utah men have been arrested in connection with the death of a 7-year-old girl who was hit by a stray bullet while asleep in her home.
On Sunday, 21-year-old Trever Joe Pinter, 36-year-old Colin David Howells and 34-year-old Christopher Robert O’Connell were taken into custody in the death of Zaydanielys Rodriguez Irizarry.
“She wasn’t like any other 7-year-old,” Zaydanielys’s father, Danny Rodriguez, told Fox 13. “My little girl was polite, intelligent and well-behaved.”
Rodriguez told KSL-TV that his family moved to Heber City 11 months ago from Puerto Rico.
“I thought, ‘Wow, it’s the perfect place to stay a year or two,'” he said.
Rodriguez said he was called by his 6-year-old son on video chat around 10:30 p.m. on Friday night after the boy heard a loud noise and his sister in distress.
“She was asking for help, she was coughing blood on the floor,” Rodriguez said. “I told my boss I needed to leave because my daughter was bleeding from her mouth. That’s all I knew.”
Rodriguez rushed home to the Wasatch Commons Apartments and first thought his daughter might have fallen. He rushed her to the hospital where she died.
“They did everything they could, but they told me where the bullet hit her, there was nothing they could do,” said Rodriguez, KSL-TV reports.
After the shooting, officers arrived at the Wasatch Commons Apartments, heard a gunshot coming from a nearby unit and arrested the three men.
According to an arrest report obtained by KSL-TV, O’Connell and Howells had visited Pinter, who also lived in the complex, before the shooting.
The two men allegedly left Pinter’s apartment and police said they later found a bullet hole in the wall of the apartment next door to Zaydanielys, KSL-TV reports, citing the arrest report.
“They located a bullet hole that had gone through the wall and bedroom of Colin… continued north through the residence and into the next apartment complex and into the child,” the report states.
O’Connell is facing charges of second-degree manslaughter, possession of a controlled substance, carrying a weapon while intoxicated and possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person. He is being held without bail.
Howells is facing two misdemeanor charges including intoxication. He was released on $2,000 bail.
Pinter is facing a third-degree felony charge of obstructing justice. He was released on $1,500 bail.
Charges have yet to be filed. O’Connell is expected to appear in court on Wednesday.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call the Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office’s tip line at 435-654-WCSO.