updated 3/15/2009 2:15:15 PM ET 2009-03-15T18:15:15

A man shot four people to death at a family gathering in a Cuban neighborhood of Miami early Sunday, then went home and killed himself, police said.

The man may have been upset because his wife had left him, according to a sergeant with the Miami Police Department's homicide division.

Officers got a call shortly after midnight that numerous shots had been fired and a red pickup truck had been spotted leaving the scene. They arrived and found four bodies.

Juan Sosa, who lives a block away, was out walking his dog early Sunday when he heard two shots and saw people running toward him, screaming. Then he heard as many as two dozen more shots and ducked behind a large tree to call police.

"I didn't want to get hit," he said.

Soon after, someone called police to say a building about three miles (five kilometers) away was on fire and more shots had been fired. That's were police found the alleged gunman dead.

'Thought truck was going to blow up'
Janseen Almodovar, who lives across the street, rushed outside when he heard people screaming and honking. He said the entire building and a truck out front were in flames.

"We thought the truck was going to blow up," Almodovar said.

Panicked neighbors were not sure if anyone was inside the one-story ivory stucco building, but they could not knock because the fire was so intense.

Police did not release the names of those who died because family members had not been notified.

Landlord Abel Loredo, who owns the building where the alleged gunman shot himself, said the man had lived there for five years and had always been on time with the rent for his one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment.

Man believed to be from Cuba
Loredo declined to identify the man but said he had moved from Cuba about a decade ago and was very nice. The man was a cook at a restaurant in nearby Little Havana for a time before becoming an electrician a few years ago.

Neighbors said there had never been any problems with police and the man and his wife were often seen in their yard barbecuing. Loredo said the man's wife and her son had lived with him at some point, but he did not know if they were still living there.

Sosa, who lives in the quiet neighborhood where the family gathering took place, said about 20 people ran into the street after the shots were fired. The last person he saw was a limping man who got into a red pickup truck and sped away without turning his lights on.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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