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A gunman holding hostages in a building near Miami in the US state of Florida killed six people before being shot dead by police, officials say.

Officers stormed the block of flats in Hialeah, north of Miami, on Saturday morning after a stand-off lasting several hours. The dead bodies of three women and three men were found at two different apartment units inside the building.

Two hostages were freed unharmed, police said.

The violence started about 6:30 p.m. Friday, when building managers Italo and Samira Pisciotti went to speak with a fourth-floor tenant who lived with his mother, according to police and witnesses. The tenant fired about 15 to 20 shots at the Pisciottis, killing them. Italo was 78, Samira was 68.

“I saw my mother’s dead body,” said Shamira Pisciotti, who lives in a unit at the building her parents managed. “She died the moment she was shot, but it looks like my dad was still alive after he was shot.”

A man and two women were found shot and killed in another apartment on a different floor. Another man who was walking his children into an apartment across the street was also murdered.