(HIALEAH, Fla.) — Seven people are dead in Southern Florida after a gunman went on a rampage Friday night through an apartment complex in the city of Hialeah.
Police are still trying to piece together exactly what happened, but say they first received reports of shots fired in the apartment complex at 6:30 p.m.
Among the six victims – three male and three female – was a married couple who managed the building, Italo and Samira Pisciotti.
Police said the couple had gone to talk to a tenant who had filed a complaint. Moments later, gunshots rang out.
“A neighbor put in a complaint and they went to talk to another neighbor and that’s all we know,” the couple’s daughter, Shamira Pisciotti, told ABC News.
Hialeah Police Sgt. Eddie Rodriguez told ABC News that before authorities arrived, the gunman was walking through the five-story apartment complex firing randomly at people in the building’s hallways and elevators.
The gunman, who is an unidentified male, killed a father who was walking his two children into an apartment from a balcony across the street, police said.
The man realized that shots were being fired and sprinted toward the front door to get his children to safety. While was fatally shot, his children were unharmed, Rodriguez said.
The shooter also killed three people in a unit on the fourth floor.
The gunman then took two or three hostages, resulting in a lengthy standoff with authorities. Rodriquez said that about 40 residents remain evacuated, though the entire block was cleared at one point.
Police negotiators tried to talk the gunman down but after a several hours they realized he was most likely not going to surrender quietly. The 8-hour standoff ended when a SWAT team was sent in to subdue the gunman to rescue the hostages.
The SWAT team attempted to subdue the gunman with flash grenades, but Detective Carl Zogby said they were forced to shoot him.
“At his last moments he was holding at least two hostages at gun point. SWAT members of the Hialeah Police Department knew there was no more time to negotiate and the gunman was shot and killed by Hialeah police.”
Including the gunman, seven people in total were killed in Hialeah overnight.
Police are working on identifying the gunman, who is believed to have acted alone, and are trying to determine a motive. Three of the victims still need to be identified, and officials are working on informing the next of kin.
Residents were allowed back into the buildings at approximately 5 a.m. this morning, with the exception of those with units on the fourth and fifth floors.
“The most important part is over,” said Zogby. “The bad guy is down, he’s dead, he cannot hurt anybody anymore.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Recent posts in National News