HIALEAH, Fla. - The gunman who allegedly shot and killed six others at a Hialeah apartment complex before being killed by police has been identified.
Hialeah police said Pedro Alberto Vargas, 42, fatally shot three men and three women Friday evening at the apartment building located at 1485 West 46th Street.
Authorities said a dispute between a resident and the property managers at the apartment complex led to the shooting and SWAT standoff.
Two of the dead are believed to be a married couple who were the property managers at the apartment complex. Three more victims were found dead in an apartment on a different floor.
Another man, who was walking his children into an apartment across the street was also killed. It wasn't immediately clear whether Vargas took aim at him from an upper-level balcony, or if he was hit by a stray bullet.
Police said Vargas was aiming for the first responders when he shot at the street, striking a man running for safety.
Police have since identified the six victims in the incident.
Vargas, a freelance graphic artist, was still armed when police arrived and holding two hostages when he was shot, according to Hialeah police. Those hostages have been identified by police as Zoeb Nek and Sarrida Nek.
Police said they believe the two rescued hostages were simply crime victims of opportunity and are OK physically.
"SWAT members knew there was no more time to negotiate," said Hialeah Police Detective Carl Zogby. "This is one of the worst shootings we've probably ever had in Hialeah. The bad guy is down. He's dead. He cannot hurt anybody anymore."
According to detectives, Vargas withdrew $10,000 in cash and burned it in the apartment where he lived with his 82-year-old mother, who was in the apartment at the time of the fire and shooting. The elderly woman was not injured.
Described by a neighbor as a rude man who kept to himself, Vargas also burned and destroyed a laptop police believed may have held crucial clues as to what led to the shootings.
"Mom tried to stop it, she's struggling with him," said Zogby. "I'm hearing she may have witnessed the whole thing."
Vargas' mother tried to stop him, as police said she witnessed the shooting and fire. She is now safe with family in Miami and is being questioned by Hialeah police.
"We are working some angles that there may have been some friction, some bad blood between him on the management, but it still doesn't explain all the irrational shooting that went on," Zogby said.
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