A SWAT standoff at a Hialeah home ended early Wednesday after an 81-year-old man who shot a crossing guard with a BB gun and fired at police died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said.
SWAT team members spent hours negotiating with Everardo Buznego after he locked himself inside his home at 698 E. 32nd Street around 5 p.m., Hialeah Police spokesman Carl Zogby said.
According to Zogby, Buznego shot the 71-year-old crossing guard in the buttocks while she was working near his home. She suffered a minor injury.
“He shoots her with a BB gun in her rear end," Zogby said. "She runs and calls the police. We come over and he locks himself in his house. Well, we start negotiating with him."
The incident caused dozens of neighbors to be evacuated from their homes.
Buznego didn't come out for several hours and police forced their way in after obtaining an arrest warrant, Zogby said.
But after they breached the door, Buznego started shooting at officers with what they believe was a firearm, Zogby said.
That led police to step back and approach the situation "in a whole different way. Now we’ve got a guy who’s armed and very dangerous inside the house and he’s shooting at police," Zogby said.
Hialeah Fire Rescue initially said the barricaded man also poured gasoline inside his home and set it on fire, but Zogby said there was not a fire, although a gas can inside the home might have spilled. Police removed a gas can that was next to a lawnmower as a precaution, Zogby added.
Officers regrouped and when they entered the home, they found Buznego dead inside, Zogby said.
It was unknown what caused Buznego to shoot the part time crossing guard, Zogby said.
"She had been working there for years, apparently he was upset at her for unknown reasons," Zogby said.
He said police have been to the house about 30 times over the years for various reasons, though Buznego hasn't been arrested.
Buznego lived alone and had a history of on-going quarrels with neighbors, Zogby said.
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