Gunman kills 6 in Florida apartment shooting rampage
HIALEAH, Florida (AP) - A man living with his mother in a South Florida apartment complex set their home on fire and went on a shooting rampage throughout the building, killing six people before being shot to death by police.
As the eight-hour standoff unfolded, horrified residents hunkered down in their homes, at times so close to the action they could feel the gunfire or hear negotiations between the gunman and police, authorities and witnesses said on Saturday.
In the final hours, Pedro Vargas, 42, held two people hostage at gunpoint for up to three hours in their apartment until an elite police team entered and killed him, police said. The hostages were not hurt.
Police were called to the aging, five-storey apartment building in Hialeah, a working class suburb a few miles northwest of downtown Miami, on Friday at 6.30pm. The first calls reported a fire, but when firefighters arrived, they heard shots and immediately notified police, Lt. Carl Zogby, a spokesman with the Hialeah Police Department, said.