Hialeah Shooter Had Professional Ties With Victim: Coworkers

Friends and family gathered to say their final goodbyes to Patricio Simono the day before what would have been his 65th birthday.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Friends and family gathered to say their final goodbyes to Patricio Simono the day before what would have been his 65th birthday. NBC 6's Myriam Masihy has the story.

    Former coworkers of 42-year-old Hialeah shooter Pedro Vargas confirmed Sunday that the gunman who killed six used to work at the same company as one of his victims.

    Vargas, employed by a staffing company named Westaff, worked on temporary assignment for Bullet Line as a graphic designer, but started sending harrassing emails to coworkers after being laid off due to lack of work.

    Former coworker Samon Pierre said victim Patricio Simono also worked at Bullet Line, although other sources told NBC 6 they did not work in the same department.

    Hours before the shooting, Vargas showed up unannounced at the law office of Angel Castillo, the attorney who deposed Vargas as part of an ongoing investigation by Bullet Line to determine who had been sending the abusive emails and text messages to its employees and customers. 

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    Jonathan Cordero, 24, spoke Thursday about the night he watched in horror as his legs were ripped from under him by a speeding car. His sister, Natalie, talked about his support system as he recovers.

    In a 911 call Vargas made before going to Castillo's law office, Vargas told the dispatcher he was followed by someone performing witchcraft on him and that the witchcraft began with a lawyer named 'Castillo.'

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    Authorities are not confirming whether the problems Vargas had with Bullet Line motivated the massacre. Their focus now is helping those left behind by the brutal slaying of six innocent lives. 

    Simono would have been preparing to celebrate his 65th birthday Monday.

    Instead, loved ones said their last goodbyes to the family man at a funeral service at the Memorial Plan San Jose funeral home on East Avenue in Hialeah.

    Simono is the last of six victims to be laid to rest following a shooting spree at a Hialeah apartment complex just over a week ago. Simono was sitting at home with his family on July 26 when his upstairs neighbor Pedro Vargas stormed into his apartment, shooting and killing him.

     

    Simono's wife Merly Niebles, 51, and her 17-year-old daughter Priscilla Perez were also killed.

    Police said Vargas, who was ultimately killed by a SWAT team after an eight-hour standoff that involved two hostages, might have taken his motive to the grave.

    Simono will be laid to rest Monday morning at Dade South Memorial Park on his birthday.

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