Couple Recounts Being Held Hostage During Hialeah Shooting Rampage

Zoeb and Sarrida Nek say prayers helped them get through deadly hostage situation

The husband and wife who survived last month's shooting rampage at a Hialeah, Fla., apartment building spoke for the first time following a memorial mass for the victims Monday night.

Zoeb and Sarrida Nek attended the mass at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, where they said they're grateful to have survived the July 26 shooting just outside Miami that claimed the lives of six people and the gunman.

"Somebody helped me and I just thank God for this, that's I'm still alive, my wife is still alive," Zoeb Noek said.

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Police say Pedro Vargas, 42, shot and killed six people and held the Neks hostage, and opened fire on police officers before he was killed by SWAT team members during a violent standoff at an apartment building in the 1400 block of West 46th Street.

Italo Pisciotti, 79, and Samira Pisciotti, 69, the husband and wife who managed the building where Vargas lived with his 83-year-old mother for the last 12 years, were killed, as were neighbor 17-year-old Priscilla Perez, her mother Merly Niebles and stepfather Patricio Simono, and Carlos Gavilanes, who was killed across the street.

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"We lost not only our neighbors, our friends, they were just like a family to us," Zoeb Nek said. "And it's their time, I don't think, I'm just lucky to be alive."

The couple, who are natives of Pakistan, have been married for 33 years and spent the past 27 living in the building, raising all of their children there.

They thanked the Hialeah SWAT team for saving them and said praying helped them get through their ordeal.

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"Prayers, it helped me during my time when I was held hostage, prayers has helped me after that, it's all prayers, it's all miracles, it's all God," Zoeb Nek said.

Sarrida Nek said she was scared but never asked Vargas to spare her life.

"I would never beg anybody except my God, I was praying to my God," she said. "I was at peace."

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