TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

'Good son' kills 6 in Florida standoff; police shoot him to end spree

About The Tribune-Review
The Tribune-Review can be reached via e-mail or at 412-321-6460.
Contact Us | Video | Photo Reprints
AP
A woman talks on the phone outside an apartment building at the scene of a fatal shooting in Hialeah, Fla., early Saturday, July 27, 2013.

Daily Photo Galleries


By The Associated Press

Published: Saturday, July 27, 2013, 7:48 p.m.

HIALEAH, Fla. — A man living with his mother in a South Florida apartment complex set their unit 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 Saturday.

At one point, Pedro Vargas, 42, held two people hostage at gunpoint for up to three hours in their apartment until a SWAT team entered and killed him, police said. The hostages were not hurt.

“The crime scene is the whole building,” said Lt. Carl Zogby, a spokesman with the Hialeah Police Department.

Police were called to the aging, five-story apartment building in Hialeah, a working class suburb a few miles northwest of downtown Miami, on Friday at 6:30 p.m. The first calls reported a fire, but when firefighters arrived, they heard shots and immediately notified police, Zogby said.

Vargas, who had no known criminal record, set a combustible liquid on fire in his fourth-floor apartment. Building manager Italo Pisciotti, 79, and his wife, Camira Pisciotti, 69, saw smoke and ran to the unit, Zogby said. When they arrived, Vargas opened the door and fired, killing both.

Detectives were investigating whether Vargas had any ongoing disputes with the building manager, as some residents believed. His mother was not home at the time.

Police and neighbors described Vargas as a quiet man who had only recently moved into the building.

Tenants painted a mixed portrait of the gunman.

“He was a good son,” said Ester Lazcano, who lived on the same floor as Vargas and his mother. “He'd take her in the morning to run errands” and to doctor appointments.

Lazcano said she was in the shower when she heard the first shots, then there were at least a dozen more. “I felt the shots,” she said.

Valdes said Vargas was also known as a difficult person who sometimes got into fights and yelled at his mother.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. AC/DC not disbanding, lead singer Brian Johnson says
  2. US Airways’ pornographic tweet won’t cost anyone a job
  3. Denver wife killed 12 minutes into 911 call, sparking inquiry
  4. Obama, House Republicans trade accusations in thwarting immigration reform
  5. Vermont Senate OKs GMO labels as industry insists genetically modified crops are safe
  6. Census director defends changes, denies questions altered to inflate Obamacare success
  7. Supreme Court voids overall contribution limits to political candidates
  8. U.S. devised ‘Cuban Twitter’ for political dissent
  9. Android systems running 4.1.1 softward carry Heartbleed bug
  10. 50 years later, ‘flying housewife’ Mock recalls fun of becoming first woman pilot to fly around the world
  11. Country Music Museum links old, new
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.