Memorial Mass Monday For Hialeah Massacre Victims

HIALEAH (CBSMiami) – Six people killed in July’s tragic Hialeah massacre will be remembered Monday night at a memorial mass.

The City of Hialeah partnered with the Archdiocese of Miami to offer the service at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, located at 4497 West 1st Avenue starting at 8:00 p.m.

The rampage that left the six victims dead took place on Friday, July 26th.

Gunman Pedro Vargas set a pile of cash on fire inside his apartment. Building managers Italo Pisciotti and his wife went running toward the smoke. Vargas opened his door and shot and killed both of them.

Vargas then went back into his apartment and began firing from his balcony. One of the shots struck and killed Carlos Javier Gavilanes, 33, who was returning home from his son’s boxing practice.

Vargas then stormed into a third-story apartment, where he shot and killed a family of three: Patricio Simono, 64, Merly Niebles, 51, and her 17-year-old daughter.

For eight hours, police followed and exchanged gunfire with Vargas throughout the five-story apartment complex.

In the final hours, Vargas took two people captive in a fifth-story unit. Police attempted to negotiate with him, but the talks fell apart and a SWAT team swarmed in, killing Vargas and rescued both hostages.

Police said Vargas had no known criminal history, and they’d never responded to any calls from the home.

There is still no known motive for the massacre.


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