Hialeah gunman thought attorney cast spells on him

Gunman called police hours before fatal shooting

HIALEAH, Fla. - The man responsible for the recent Hialeah shooting suffered from paranoia and had a troubled employment history. He believed in witchcraft, liked to write stories and needed a psychological evaluation, his mother told an emergency dispatcher hours before the shooting.

About five hours before he killed six people on July 26, Pedro Vargas called 911 to ask for help. He told the dispatcher in Spanish that he was being "targeted" and an attorney -- whom he had met with regarding a previous employer -- was "casting spells" on him.

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His mother Esperanza Patterson, 83, told the dispatcher her son needed a mental health evaluation. The dispatcher asked if she feared for her life or thought Vargas was a danger. 

"I'm scared ... [but] he is a good guy," Patterson said.

The 42-year-old would later kill six people and hold two others captive, police said. A funeral for one of the victims was held Wednesday.

Read: Complete English transcript

"I gave him lunch and I gave him two Xanax pills to get him to calm down a bit ... please help me ...," Patterson said. "I want a psychiatrist or a psychologist to treat him, to see him, to evaluate him."

Vargas told the dispatcher that there was an attorney who had put a hex on him and that there was a car parked outside that he did not recognize. He also asked her if she could run the car's license plate.

"He is like traumatized, because it wasn't fair ... he did something with the Internet," Patterson told the dispatcher.

Vargas had a troubled employment history.

In 2008, he was fired from Miami-Dade College after they discovered he had downloaded several files related to explosives, hacking and other dangerous subjects. Through an employment agency, he also worked as a graphic artist at Bullet Line near Miami Gardens, where he too left a trail of threats.

Bullet Line filed a lawsuit against Yahoo in 2012 to obtain information about "repeated malicious, offensive, false and defamatory e-mail communications."

Neither of the employers notified police.

Through the 911 call, police would find out Vargas was paranoid about a local attorney representing Bullet Line. WPLG-Local 10 Glenna Milberg talked to attorney Angel Castillo Jr., who deposed Vargas days before the shooting.

During discovery, Vargas told Castillo that after he learned his services were no longer required, he used a Yahoo account and a public library computer to send messages to his previous co-workers.

Castillo provided WPLG-Local 10 with a copy of the apology letter Vargas wrote three days before the shooting rampage.

"I was sad to stop seeing you guys, enjoying lunch in your company and not been able to participate at the new place," Vargas wrote in the letter. "Don't believe me, but I am pouring tears right now."

During the 12-minute call before his shooting rampage, the dispatcher focused on whether or not Patterson thought she needed police to go to their apartment at 1485 West 46 Street. Before the call ended, the unidentified dispatcher raised her voice in frustration. 

"Tell me! Do I cancel the call or not because I have two officers on their way there?"

Patterson told police Vargas had left the apartment with an empty bottle to buy gasoline.

"No, no, no! Cancel it, because he is not here," Patterson said.

Vargas He would later burn about $10,000 in cash, police said. Patterson told the dispatcher she feared that the presence of police officers could worsen her son's paranoia and make him turn against her.

She insisted that what she needed was a mental health evaluation for her son. The officers never made it to the apartment building where Vargas and six other people would later die. The dispatcher canceled the call.

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