NEW MILFORD, Conn. (WPRI) — A Warwick man has been charged with manslaughter in a deadly incident at a Connecticut party last August, according to an arrest warrant released Tuesday by the Connecticut State Police.
Hector Diaz-Negron, 47, is facing charges of second-degree manslaughter, criminal possession of a firearm and unlawful discharge of a firearm in connection to the incident. He is accused of accidentally shooting his friend in the chest while handing a firearm back to him in the bedroom of a New Milford home.
The warrant states that Diaz-Negron called 911 in hysterics and told the dispatcher, “my friend was showing me a gun and it went off.”
The victim, identified as Robert Cerrato, 43, was rushed to Danbury Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
Diaz-Negron told police Cerrato wanted to show him several of his new firearms, adding that he believed none of them were loaded.
A witness later told officers that Diaz-Negron and Cerrato were teasing him about not wanting to touch the guns, and said the two were, “playing around and acting like he had no guns but then would pull one out from hiding,” according to the warrant.
Then, when Diaz-Negron went to hand the gun to Cerrato, the witness said the handgun went off.
Diaz-Negron denied anyone was fooling around with the firearms, but did admit that Cerrato was “drying firing” some of the guns in the room.
Further investigation revealed Cerrato did not have a valid pistol permit and none of the firearms were registered to him.
The warrant said Diaz-Negron’s “reckless” behavior caused Cerrato’s death.
Diaz-Negron has a criminal history in Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Maryland, according to the warrant.