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RI man arrested for shooting death of New Milford man in August

An arrest has been made in a shooting death in New Milford in August.  State Police say 47-year old Hector Diaz-Negron of Rhode Island was charged with manslaughter, criminal possession of a firearm and unlawful discharge of a firearm. 

The arrest warrant released last night says New Milford Police got a 911 call on August 10th from an hysterical man, later identified as Diaz-Negron, who reported that his friend “had been accidentally shot” at a Kent Road home.  He told the dispatcher that 43-year old Robert Cerrato was showing him a gun “and it went off.” 

The victim was pronounced dead at the hospital.  Cerrato’s cause of death was a gunshot wound of chest and the manner was ruled a homicide. 

The warrant said Diaz-Negron told police he thought the magazine was removed, was handing the gun back to the victim and it discharged striking the victim.  The warrant says the safety manual that comes with the 9mm includes many levels of safety to prevent accidental discharges.  The loaded chamber indicator is at the top of the firearm and can be easily seen and felt.  

Cerrato did not have a valid pistol permit and did not have any firearms registered, though several guns were seized from the New Milford home.  Police say three of the firearms were registered to the victim's step-father and step-brother.

Diaz-Negron’s criminal history included arrests in Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Maryland.

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Rich Valdes

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