Seven Killed in Hialeah Apartment Building Massacre UPDATED

Categories: Crime

via lianemorejon's Instagram
One of South Florida's worst mass killings played out over eight hours in a Hialeah apartment building last night, as a gunman killed residents and took hostages inside until a police SWAT team stormed in and killed him.

Specifics on the shootout are still thin this morning, but it apparently started with a confrontation between the gunman and the property's managers and ended with three men, three women and the shooter all dead.

Update: Hialeah police have released the names of the victims and the shooter. The victims were: Italo Piscotti, 79, and Camira Piscotti, 69; Carlos Gavilanes, 33; Patricio Simino, 64; Merly Niebles, 51; and a 17-year-old female whose name is still being withheld. The shooter was 42-year-old Pedro Alberto Vargas.

The violence began around 6:30 p.m., the Miami Herald reports, when the building's managers, 78-year-old Italo Piscotti and his wife, 68-year-old Samira, went to talk to the so far unidentified gunman, who lived with his mother.

One building tenant told the Herald that they'd tried to evict the killer and his mother at least once in the past.

"At about 6:30 p.m. Pedro Vargas, 43-year-old tenant attempted and succeeded in lighting his apartment on fire, for some unknown reason he bought a combustible liquid and lit his apartment on fire," said Hialeah police spokesman Carl Zogby.

"The building managers ran towards the apartment where they noticed smoke was coming out of. He came out of the door and shot both of them several times killing them right at the scene."

The gunman fired more than a dozen rounds into the elderly couple, killing them on the spot.

Before the SWAT team could move in, he then killed two other men and two women, then took at least two more people hostage, the Herald reports.

When SWAT officers stormed in, they killed the gunman fearing he could soon hurt his hostages, Hialeah police say.

"The bad guy is down, he's dead, he can not hurt anybody anymore and now it slows down and we find out exactly what happened here," Zogby told CBS4.

Zogby later told reporters that Vargas' body was found with "plenty of live ammunition" still left. "We don't have a clear motive. This was an irrational act and many times there is no rational explanation"

Additional reporting by Zachary Fagenson.

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45 comments
frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

another "victory" for the N R A

thomasbreeno
thomasbreeno

If Hialeah is a suburb then Overtown is a gated community.

John Escalante
John Escalante

He could have eaten one of them, then it would be news worthy.

jgcamp99
jgcamp99

Reports are there was a stack of money, $ 10K that was the reason for the fire. Now why would someone burn $ 10K in money ? Find out that reason and I'll bet yuou have the motive ? Just me, but anyone that worked an honest day in their lives doesn't burn perfectly hard earned cash like that, not unless they are nutz in the first place. So that leaves that it was stolen, counterfeited, embezzled or involved in any other possible & unknown criminal transaction(s) ? Was it Illegal arms sales, drug money, what ? And maybe those living across the street weren't innocent bystanders ? I mean, who goes sniper and randomly picks residents across the street ? This is the 2nd or 3rd SWAT deployment I'm aware of. A few months back in the Kendall area, a pot grow house was raided, everyone involved there after the house was raided eventually found dead. And the 2nd, NMB on May 8th for drug related activity.

Tony Miller
Tony Miller

Somehow this will be tied to stand your ground... wait, never mind. They were the same race so the media will give this 5 seconds despite it being a more horrific incident than the last one.

Adri Ana
Adri Ana

first it's Camira Piscotti, 69 then becomes Samira 68?

Vito Delgado
Vito Delgado

I am pretty sure that area is pretty rough but you can't say its the landlords fault he was just doing his job. People need to chill out and start having a bit of regard for human life.

Doug Jones
Doug Jones

you all sure are a funny bunch of idiot savants

Bianca Gonzalez
Bianca Gonzalez

What the hell is going on with these people!! SMH :'(

Jen Die
Jen Die

Whoa, i guess he killed more, last time i check it was two, so sad, praying for those who've lost a loved ones...Ugh...horrible

drakemallard
drakemallard topcommenter

Americans are extremely brainwashed with pro-gun propaganda.
they have hard time thinking critically .Read the juror instructions and you will find SYG all over it... This shooter may be suffering from paranoia is which he felt irrationally threatened by those around him. From his point of view, he may be invoking SYG lawfully. That's the issue with the law. It's based on the shooter's perceptions determining his feelings of harm.

Phil Ramirez
Phil Ramirez

You can't be diplomatic in Hialeah, because if you get an eviction notice from the city court, it might happen that the tenant knows someone in city hall. Thus, stalling the process.

Tomeka Tucker Bowden
Tomeka Tucker Bowden

Sad that you can't even evict tenants anymore. Prayers going out to all the victims involved. As for you Donnie, your comments show your character which speaks for itself. There are no insults that could do you justice for making an ignorant ass statement like that. It's obvious your a low life that has never and probably will never own anything in your pathetic lifetime.

Frank Castle
Frank Castle

@lenny sanch ..... nope. i went to catholic school in ny and im college educated, nice try but no cigar, each story has 2 sides, the landlord probably was collecting the rent in a agressive manner...im not saying he deserved to die, im saying that he set up his own trap

Walky Hernandez
Walky Hernandez

it's extremely sad how these poor victims lost their lives. Rest In Peace

Lenny Sanch
Lenny Sanch

Donnie Donnie obviously has a Miami public school education.

Chanelle Artiles
Chanelle Artiles

Donnie Donnie, you cannot be serious. How was it their fault? You do understand that an apartment building is not a homeless shelter right? I'm all for tenant's rights, fighting against ridiculous rent increases and challenging screwed up association practices but no one deserves to die because they are a land lord and you're having "money problems".

Dicky Bobby Perez
Dicky Bobby Perez

damn! wake up to this. feeling blessed. prayers to the victims family. as for donnie donnie don't be a dumb ass, man is doing his job

Lisi Perez
Lisi Perez

Casa Real will never be the same! RIP to those who didn't make it. Prayers for those who did! This makes me so sad...

Frank Castle
Frank Castle

Times are bad, people have money issues...landlords have to be careful when they evict someone, it was the landlords own fault he died

Mark Field
Mark Field

This is horrible! Prayers prayers, prayers to all involved.

Nasja Kos
Nasja Kos

Todd Nicholas Badenov Dan Sá

Geoff Paugam
Geoff Paugam

Made National Breaking News................ :(

gina41281
gina41281

@Donnie Donnie so it's the landlord's fault that a bunch of people got shot because he went to go collect rent? i guess he shouldn't collect it and just wait till whenever it is that they feel like paying him right? the guy was doing his job and i read this wasn't the first time they have had to deal with the tenant not paying. the only thing the landlord might have done wrong is be an asshole or pushy about it. still doesn't mean that it's his fault all these people got shot by a nut job.

afausto173
afausto173

Like you said times are bad, the senior citizen landlord couple needed to collect their money not be killed.

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