HIALEAH, Fla. - On Thursday afternoon, Lt. Carl Zogby of the Hialeah Police Dept., held a news conference about the mass shooting at a Hialeah apartment complex on July 26.
"A clear motive for Vargas' actions on that day are still unknown," Zogby said.
But Pedro Vargas' timeline Friday gives police the only inkling they may ever have about why he went on a rampage, at the cost of six lives of his neighbors and his own.
At 1:37 p.m., it started with Vargas' 911 call, during which he said he was being targeted by witchcraft. His elderly mother then went on the phone to explain to the 911 operator that her son has a mental issue, saying that an attorney for his former employer was after him.
Eight minutes later, at 1:45 p.m., Vargas's mother said he'd left the apartment and asked the dispatcher to cancel the officers on the way to the apartment.
Police believe Vargas made two stops but aren't sure where he went.
At 3 p.m., he arrived at the attorney's office, wanting to talk about a deposition he'd given a few days earlier, admitting to and apologizing for a series of inappropriate emails he'd sent to former coworkers.
By 5:15 p.m., Vargas was back in his apartment 408 with a canister of gasoline, and set fire to his own bag of cash he'd withdrawn. His mother tried to stop him.
At 6:58 p.m., neighbors began calling 911 about the smoke.
And so began six minutes of the massacre.
Special coverage: Hialeah massacre
Vargas first shot the couple who managed the building, arriving to help. Next, from his balcony, Vargas shot a dad out on the street sending his son running for safety. And then he shot a family of three in an apartment on the third floor.
Arriving firefighters heard the shots and alerted police at 7:04 p.m.
Police converged on the scene and found Vargas holding the residents of apartment 523 hostage.
At 10 p.m., they established contact with hostage negotiators.
At 1:48 a.m. on Saturday, they made the call to raid.
"He was in the process of reloading when he was killed," Zogby said. "His intentions are obvious."
When asked about the 911 call during Thursday's conference, Zogby said they had never had any prior calls from that apartment and there were no signs that the situation would become violent. He said people often call 911 to vent.
"No one can predict what a person will do," said Zogby.
Donations to the families of the victims can be made to: Survivors Pathway, PO Box 138882, Hialeah, FL 33013.
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