Gunman in Miami mass slaying feared witchcraft
MIAMI, Florida (AFP) - A Cuban-American gunman who opened fire in his apartment building, killing six neighbors, had told police he feared he was being targeted by witchcraft, police said on Wednesday.
Pedro Vargas, 42, set fire to US$10,000 (S$12,700) in cash at the start of Friday night's rampage in an apartment building in Hialeah, just outside Miami. The city is home to mostly Cubans and Cuban Americans.
"I feel threatened. And they are trying to get me with witchcraft," Vargas said in Spanish in a 12-minute call to 911 which authorities released on Wednesday.
While belief in some types of witchcraft are common in Cuba, Vargas' behavior also seems consistent with a psychotic episode with paranoid delusions - and his mother appears to have been aware of his mental condition, if unable to get him treated.