Hialeah survivors credit officers, prayer for survival

Two massacre survivors attend memorial for victims


HIALEAH, Fla. – A couple held hostage during a shooting spree at a Hialeah apartment complex last month talked about the experience at a memorial Mass for the victims.

Pedro Vargas held Farid and Zoeb Nek hostage for eight hours inside their apartment on July 26, police said.

"Somebody helped me," Zoeb Nek said. "I thank God for this, that I'm still alive. My wife is still alive."

Special coverage: Hialeah massacre

According to police, Vargas, 42, opened fire at his apartment complex that Friday, killing six people: Italo Pisciotti and his wife Samira Pisciotti; Carlos Javier Gavilanes; Patricio Simono, Merly Niebles, and Pricilla Perez, her 17-year-old daughter.

"We lost not only our neighbors, our friends. They were just like a family," Zoeb Nek said. "Prayers helped me during my time when I was held hostage. Prayers have helped me after that. It's all prayers. It's no miracle. It's all God."

Investigators believe a deposition Vargas gave earlier in the week may have motivated him.

About the Authors: