Miami police on Sunday searched
for a motive for a shooting
rampage in which six people were killed by a gunman
who set his apartment on fire before
shooting several neighbors and taking others hostage.
They said they were investigating reports that the man,
Pedro Alberto Vargas, 42, was in the process of being evicted
and had had disputes with the building's management.
More than 100 police, including SWAT teams,
stormed an apartment in Hialeah, a heavily-Hispanic suburb of Miami,
in a pre-dawn raid on Saturday, killing Vargas and rescuing
"When we found him he still had plenty of live rounds of ammunition,"
Hialeah Police spokesman Carl Zogby told reporters.
"This was an irrational act and many times there is no
The weapon used in the incident, a 9-millimeter Glock handgun,
was purchased legally in 2010, Zogby said.
Vargas, who arrived
in the United States from Cuba in 1997,
was described as a part-time graphic artist
who kept largely to himself and cared for his elderly mother.
He became a U.S. citizen in 2004, according to El Nuevo Herald,
south Florida's main Spanish-language newspaper.
He graduated from Miami Dade College
with a degree in graphic design.
There were no pending civil or criminal cases
filed against him in Miami-Dade County courts.
Among the victims
were two building managers and several neighbors,
including a 17-year-old girl who police say
was shot while trying to hide in a bathtub.
Vargas also fired 10 to 20 shots into the street,
killing a man who was walking home
with his 9-year-old son whom he had just
picked up from boxing practice, police said.
It was the worst Miami area shooting since 1982,when
51-year-old Carl Robert Brown killed nine and wounded three others
with a pump-action shotgun after a dispute over a
$20 lawnmower repair.
$20 lawnmower repair.
Vargas held a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
Police gave no information on where
he bought the gun or details from the two-page questionnaire
on the permit's application.
He had no military background
and there were no reports
of any psychiatric issues.
According to El Nuevo Herald neighbors knew
little of the man other than that he exercised often
and was regularly seen wearing gym shorts and running shoes.
he regularly took his 83-year-old mother
to doctor's appointments.
after Vargas set fire to his apartment
as well as a large amount of cash.
Vargas' mother told police it was $10,000
drawn from his savings account,
though the amount remains unconfirmed.
"Much if not all was burned," Zogby said.