(HIALEAH, Fla.) — Seven people are dead in Southern Florida after a gunman went on a rampage Friday night through an apartment complex in the city of Hialeah.
Police are still trying to piece together exactly what happened, but say they first received reports of shots fired in the apartment complex at 6:30 p.m.
The gunman, who has not been identified by officials yet, is believed to have fatally shot six people during the shooting spree. He allegedly first shot the couple that managed the apartment complex then went upstairs shooting another man across the street. Police spokesman Sgt. Eddie Rodriquez told ABC News that they aren’t sure if the victim in the neighboring building was targeted or killed by a stray bullet.
Then he went up another flight of stairs, kicked open a door, shot three people in that apartment, and went upstairs again.
The gunman then took two or three hostages, resulting in a lengthy standoff with authorities. Rodriquez said that about 40 residents remain evacuated, though the entire block was cleared at one point.
Police negotiators tried to talk the gunman down but after a several hours they realized he was most likely not going to surrender quietly. The 8-hour standoff ended when a SWAT team was sent in to subdue the gunman to rescue the hostages.
The SWAT team attempted to subdue the gunman with flash grenades, but Detective Carl Zogby said they were forced to shoot him.
“At his last moments he was holding at least two hostages at gun point. SWAT members of the Hialeah Police Department knew there was no more time to negotiate and the gunman was shot and killed by Hialeah police.”
Including the gunman, seven people in total were killed in Hialeah overnight.
Police are working on identifying the gunman, who is believed to have acted alone, and are trying to determine a motive. Three of the victims still need to be identified, and officials are working on informing the next of kin.
“The most important part is over,” said Zogby. “The bad guy is down, he’s dead, he cannot hurt anybody anymore.”
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