July 28, 2013 8:46 am

Florida gunman set fire to apartment before shooting rampage that killed 6

HIALEAH, Fla. – The gunman who went on a shooting rampage at a South Florida apartment complex was described as a quiet man who took his mother to doctor appointments, yet also someone who was known for getting into fights.

Conflicting portraits of Pedro Vargas, 42, emerged as police tried to piece together why he set ablaze the apartment he lived in with his mother and then killed six people before police fatally shot him.

As the eight-hour standoff unfolded, horrified residents hunkered down in their homes, at times so close they could feel the gunfire or hear negotiations between the gunman and police, authorities and witnesses said Saturday.

Vargas held two people hostage for hours in their apartment until a SWAT team entered and killed him, police said. The hostages weren’t hurt.

© The Canadian Press, 2013

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