Marcela Chavarri, director of the American Christian School, said Perez was about to enter her senior year at the school.
“She was a lovely girl,” Chavarri said through tears. “She was always happy and helping her classmates.”
In Hialeah — a suburb of about 230,000 residents, about three-quarters of whom are Cuban or Cuban-American — the street in the quiet, apartment-building-lined neighborhood was still blocked by police tape on Saturday afternoon.
The building where the standoff occurred is an aging, beige structure with an open terrace in the middle. It has between 90 and 95 units.
Zogby called the whole building a crime scene.
“He probably fired dozens of shots during the whole incident,” he said. “It could have been a much, much more dangerous situation.”