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
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
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

Recruitment Genius: 3rd Line Virtualisation, Windows & Server Engineer

£40000 - £47000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A 3rd Line Virtualisation / Sto...

Recruitment Genius: Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Service Engineer

£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A successful national service f...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive / Sales - OTE £25,000

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Fixed Term Contract

£17500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We currently require an experie...

Day In a Page

Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back