Cops ID Florida Gunman Who Killed 6

42-Year-Old Pedro Vargas

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 27, 2013 3:48 PM CDT

(Newser) – Police have identified the now-dead gunman they say was behind the death of six people in a South Florida shooting spree as Pedro Vargas, 42, reports NBC Miami. At a press conference today, authorities also named five of the six victims: Italo Pisciotti, 79, Camira Pisciotti, 69, Carlos Javier Gavilanes, 33, Patricio Simono, 64, and Merly S. Niebles, 51. The sixth victim was identified only as a 17-year-old female, though relatives have said she was Niebles' daughter, Priscilla Perez. Vargas was a tenant of the Hialeah apartment complex where the shooting took place. It was previously reported that the killings began when the Pisciottis, the building's managers, came to question the gunman over a tenant dispute. But the police say it was more than that: Vargas had lit his fourth-floor apartment on fire, and they went to investigate the smoke coming out of it.

When the couple came to the door, police say, Vargas shot them. As firefighters arrived on scene, Vargas fired at them from his balcony, but instead hit Gavilanes, who was walking across the street with his son, reports the Miami Herald. Vargas then went into a third-floor apartment, where the bodies of Simono, Niebles, and the 17-year-old were later found. A neighbor says their lock was shot off, and the teen girl had been hiding in the bathroom. "Seven people have lost their lives in this incident, six innocent victims and the one shooter," says a police spokesman. "Now starts the investigation, how and why this happened."

The apartment building where a fatal shooting took place in Hialeah, Florida.
The apartment building where a fatal shooting took place in Hialeah, Florida.   (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
Police block off the apartment building at the scene of the fatal shooting in Hialeah, Florida.
Police block off the apartment building at the scene of the fatal shooting in Hialeah, Florida.   (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
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