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Suspect arrested in domestic shooting in East Hartford home: Police

Luis Toro-Vargas faced a judge Thursday and was held on $1 million bond.

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. — A man was arrested after allegedly shooting a woman in an East Hartford home while two children were inside.

Before rushing a single-family home on Lafayette Avenue Wednesday afternoon, East Hartford Police say they spoke with 39-year-old Luis Toro-Vargas over the phone and successfully encouraged him to walk outside where he tossed a gun on his lawn and surrendered with his hands up. 

The couple’s 16-year-old niece and 11-year-old nephew were home when court documents state Toro-Vargas shot his wife in the chest in the basement of their home around 3 p.m. Wednesday. The 11-year-old boy called the police. 

His wife was alert when authorities arrived, telling them it was her husband who pulled the trigger.

“She was taken down to the basement by Mr. Toro-Vargas and two shots were fired,” Assistant State’s Attorney Mark Williams said Thursday at Manchester Superior Court.

Toro-Vargas facing Judge Shiela Prats will be required to surrender weapons and avoid contact with his wife, who was rushed to the hospital with a gunshot wound to the chest. Her sister said Thursday that she was badly hurt but is coherent and working to recover.

The 38-page warrant stated Toro-Vargas told police when interviewed, “It’s the first time I shot” and “I never shot in my life.” 

“You’re being ordered to stay 100 yards away do not approach her or greet her,” Prats said Thursday. 

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The couple is reportedly in the process of separating during the dispute. A lone cardboard box remained in the driveway Thursday. The warrant also details disturbing details suggesting Toro-Vargas ordered his 16-year-old niece to strip naked so he could look at her before the shooting. 

Toro-Vargas required a Spanish interpreter in court. His defense said he’s lived in Connecticut for six years and works at the Home Goods warehouse in Bloomfield. 

“He owns a home and has a family in the area that are very supportive,” said Attorney Christopher Brenes. 

A request for lower bail was denied.

“This is domestic violence. Very serious concerns for the safety for the victim as noted in the report they were in the process of separating and as we know in domestic violence that is the most dangerous times for a victim,” Prats said.

Toro-Vargas is also charged with risk of injury to a minor. He’s due back in court in Manchester on Jan. 25.

Samaia Hernandez is a reporter for FOX61 News. She can be reached at shernandez@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram


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