3 people arrested after bullet fired through apartment wall kills 7-year-old girl

A 7-year-old girl died of a gunshot wound in Heber City on Friday evening after police said a drunken man shot a gun through the wall of a nearby apartment. (Brandon Whitworth, KSL TV)

HEBER CITY – Three men were arrested on Saturday in the death of a 7-year-old girl who was shot and killed Friday night at her home.

One of the men who has been described as “unbelievably drunk” is believed to have shot through the wall and into a nearby apartment, hitting the child who later died in hospital.

Christopher Robert Oconnell, 34, was incarcerated in Wasatch County Jail for investigation of manslaughter, carrying a dangerous weapon under the influence, possession of a dangerous weapon by a restrained person, possession of marijuana and intoxication.

The girl’s father called 911 around 10:35 p.m. Friday as he was taking her to Heber Valley Hospital. The girl was shot and died of her injuries around 11:30 p.m., according to a statement from the Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office. His name has not yet been released, nor the location where the child was touched.

When MPs arrived at the Wasatch Commons Apartments, 2790 N. Commons Blvd., an “obviously intoxicated” Oconnell had a gun near his waistline sticking out of his T-shirt, according to an affidavit from police reservation. MPs said his speech was garbled and “non-compliant”.

He told MPs he consumed alcohol and four pills of clonazepam and gave the same amount to his friend and colleague Colin David Howells, the affidavit states.

Members of Parliament searched her apartment and reported finding marijuana and guns in the same room. “They located a bullet hole that had gone through the wall and Colin’s bedroom, continued north through the residence and into the next apartment complex and into the child,” the police affidavit states. .

Neighbor Trevor Joe Pinter told MPs Oconnell and Howells he knocked hard on his door on Friday after 10 p.m. and entered his apartment. Two women arrived at the apartment shortly after.

“The women also said they saw Christopher pull out a gun and wave it while intoxicated,” another affidavit reads. “They asked him to put it away.”

Additionally, the women said Oconnell and Howells sexually assaulted them in Pinter’s apartment, according to reports.

A man renting a room in the apartment where the girl was shot said about five minutes after the girl’s father quickly left the residence, two men stood in the doorway of the apartment and asked him about the children. He said a man held a gun in his hand as they spoke and he could smell the smell of alcohol, according to the affidavits. Police said they believed the men were Oconnell and Howells.

Howells, 36, was arrested for a sexual assault and poisoning investigation and Pinter, 21, was arrested on an obstruction of justice investigation after police said he initially provided them with misleading information.

Contributing: Linda williams

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