Gunman kills six hostages before police fire fatal shot in south Florida shoot-out

Neighbours say the gunman lived in the apartment building

Six hostages lost their lives in a South Florida apartment during a stand off between a gunman and a police commando team in the early hours of Saturday morning. 

The gunman was shot dead by police after refusing to co-operate.

Sgt. Eddie Rodriguez said police received a call at approximately 6.30pm on Friday evening over reports that shots had been fired in a five story apartment building complex in Hialeah, a suburb north of Miami.

Sgt. Rodriguez said upon arrival police discovered a gunman moving from floor to floor inside the building, before finally barricading himself in an apartment, holding two people hostage.

A crisis team was able to briefly establish communication with the man, whose identity is currently unknown. Sgt. Rodriguez said negotiators and a special weapons team attempted to communicate with him from the other side of the door of the apartment unit. However, talks "fell apart" and officers were forced to storm the building, fatally shooting the gunman after he engaged in gunfire. Both hostages survived.

There was no information available yet as to how long negotiations lasted.

He said police discovered two people, a male and female, dead in the hallway in front of one apartment. Three more, a male and two females, were found shot to death in another apartment on a different floor. Another man, who was understood to have been walking his children in a building across the street, was also shot dead. Sgt. Rodriguez said it wasn't immediately clear whether the gunman took aim at him from an upper-level balcony or if he was hit by a stray bullet.

“From up there, he was able to shoot at people across the street, catching this one man who was just walking into his apartment,” Sgt. Rodriguez said.

Fabian Valdes, a local resident, said he heard shots fired from across the street and then looked out his window to see a man lying on the floor, outside the front lobby. He was on his back and had his arms and legs outstretched.

“It's something you never expect,” he said.

The entrance to the apartment buildings remained blocked off on Saturday.

Miriam Valdes, 70, lives on the top floor and reported hearing gunfire before smoke began entering her apartment.

She described running in fear to the unit across the hall, where she hid as officers negotiated with the gunman.

From the apartment, Ms Valdes said she could hear about eight officers talking with the gunman.

She said she heard the officers tell him to “let these people out.”

“We're going to help you,” she said they told him.

She said the gunman first asked for his girlfriend and then his mother but refused to cooperate. 

Neighbours alleged the gunman lived in the building, but police could not confirm this. Rodriguez said police were still investigating the motive and identifying the gunman and victims.

Additional reporting by agencies

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
football This was Kane’s night, even if he played just a small part of it
Travel
travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
News
news
News
Founders James Brown and Tim Southwell with a mock-up of the first ever ‘Loaded’ magazine in 1994
media
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Threlfall says: 'I am a guardian of the reality keys. I think I drive directors nuts'
people
Voices
voices The group has just unveiled a billion dollar plan to help nurse the British countryside back to health
News
The Westgate, a gay pub in the centre of Gloucester which played host to drag queens, has closed
news
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...

Recruitment Genius: SEO Executive

£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: New Lift Sales Executive - Lift and Elevators

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss