Instead of a birthday celebration, Patricio Simono was buried on the day he would have turned 65.
Funeral flowers replaced presents at Dade South Memorial Park, where Simono was laid to rest Monday, 10 days after being shot and killed by Pedro Vargas.
Simono's friend Miguel Romero, who attended the funeral, told NBC 6 that Simono and Vargas "knew each other." Simono not only lived in the same Hialeah building as Vargas but once worked at the same company, Bullet Line. On the day of the shooting on July 26 Vargas left his fourth-floor apartment, went downstairs to Simono's unit, and shot and killed him, his wife Merly Niebles, 51, and 17-year-old stepdaughter Priscilla Perez, police said.
Three days before he killed a total of six people, Vargas admitted he sent harassing messages to other Bullet Line employees after he left the company in October 2012. In a police report filed by one of those employees and obtained by NBC 6, the employee said she received "text messages from an unknown person and that the number doesn't appear on screen." The messages stated "you are fat, ugly, hope you die, and your daughter stays orphan."
In a letter Vargas would later apologize to that employee and several others he offended, but three days after that apology he went on his deadly shooting rampage.
The massacre haunts those who knew Patricio Simono, the last victim of the shooting to be laid to rest.
"It still hurts me, more for the family because the family really loved him. I don't know why the gentleman hurt him, he was a lovable person," Romero said.
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