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Florida hostage standoff leaves seven dead

Gunman went on a shooting rampage at a Florida apartment complex, killing six people before a SWAT team killed him.

Last Modified: 27 Jul 2013 19:46
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The shooter barricaded himself inside a fifth-floor apartment where he took two neighbours hostage [EPA]

A tenant went on a shooting rampage at a Florida apartment building, killing six people before a SWAT team killed him and rescued two neighbours he was holding hostage, police said.

The hostages were unharmed, police in the Miami suburb of Hialeah said on Saturday.

The standoff began on Friday evening during an argument between the gunman and the husband and wife who ran the apartment complex. Their bodies were among the six found after the SWAT team moved in on Saturday morning, police said.

The gunman lived in a fourth-floor apartment with his mother and may have been facing eviction, police and neighbours said.

The landlords, 78-year-old Italo Pisciotti and 68-year-old Samira Pisciotti, went to the unit to discuss a problem with the gunman, who opened fire and killed them both, their daughter, Shamira Pisciotti, told the Miami Herald.

Talks 'fell apart'

The gunmen went to another apartment in the building and shot dead a man and woman and their teenage daughter, and fired from a balcony at a man walking into a building across the street, killing him as well.

The shooter then barricaded himself inside a fifth-floor apartment where he took two neighbours hostage, investigators said.

Negotiators made contact with him during the night and the SWAT team closed in after the talks broke down about 2am local time.

Sergeant Eddie Rodriguez told The Associated Press the talks eventually "just fell apart".

At some point during the scuffle, the gunman set his apartment on fire, leaving the ceiling and hallway charred and setting off sprinklers that soaked part of the building.

His mother collapsed and was taken to a hospital, police said.

The apartment complex in the blue-collar, mostly Hispanic community housed about 90 families.

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Source:
Associated Press
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