A man accused of shooting and killing six people at a Florida apartment complex called 911 just hours before, charging that he was a victim of witchcraft.
During a 12-minute phone call made to police hours before the murders occurred, Pedro Vargas told an emergency dispatcher that he was a victim of witchcraft. He also asked the dispatcher to run a license plate, according to report released on Wednesday by the Hialeah Police Department.
Following the request, the dispatcher spoke to Vargas' mom who reported that her son was behaving erratic and suggested he needed a psychiatrist. She declined the dispatcher's offer to send police, according to the Associated Press.
The incident occurred Saturday after Vargas, 43, set fire to his apartment home in Hiahleah, Fla. During an 8-hour hostage situation that was ended with a SWAT team storming into the complex, Vargas shot and killed six people before taking two additional victims hostage.
The building manager and his wife were the first to notice smoke coming out of Vargas' apartment, which was lit using combustible fluid. When the couple ran to the door, Vargas shot and killed them both.
The couple's daughter, Shamira Pisciotti, also heard the shots.
"I heard about 15 to 20 shots, and so I went outside, and my neighbors were screaming that my parents have been shot," she told CBS Miami station WFOR-TV.
Vargas then returned to his apartment and fired shots from the balcony, killing a man parking his car. From his fourth floor apartment he descended one level, kicked in the door of a third floor apartment, and opened fire again killing a man, his wife, and their teen daughter.
After attempts to negotiate with the gunman failed, SWAT team troops entered the building and fatally shot Vargas. Both hostages were saved.