Peel police say two men have been arrested and a third is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant after a man was shot and killed near a boxing gym in Mississauga.
Police were called to Huf Boxing Gym at Dundas Street East and Cawthra Road around 11:20 a.m. on Monday.
A 32-year-old man was found with multiple gunshot wounds and taken to hospital by paramedics in life-threatening condition, where he later died of his injuries.
The victim has been identified as Michael Deabaitua-Schulde and police say he was a “well entrenched” member of the Niagara chapter of the Hells Angels.
During a press conference on Thursday, acting superintendent of investigative services Martin Ottaway said the shooting was a targeted attack, but the suspects are not believed to be a part of a motorcycle gang. However, all three suspects are known to be associated with organized crime activity.
Ottaway added that Peel Region does not have any chapters of motorcycle gangs within its boundaries.
The two suspects in custody are from the Montreal area and will appear in court in Montreal.
Markins Vilme, 28, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder on Wednesday night. Johnathan Martinez-Reyes, 27, was also arrested and charged with accessory after the fact to murder.
A third suspect, 38-year-old Joseph Pallota, is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for first-degree murder. Police say he is from the Saint-Leonard area of Quebec and is considered armed and dangerous. He is known to police but not tied to any other shootings.
Police said a blue, burned out Honda Civic found around the corner from the gym on Rymal Road was the getaway vehicle. They said the suspects set it on fire to dispose of any evidence.
Ottaway said a motive or any prior connection between the victim and suspects cannot be revealed as the investigation is ongoing, but all those involved are associated with organized crime.
“We believe the Hells Angels motorcycle gang is organized crime activity,” he said. “He was targeted for a reason. We take that serious, we take all organized crime activity seriously and we investigate to the fullest extent.”
Organized crime specialist and author James Dubro tells CityNews it is unusual for a “hit team” from Montreal to carry out a shooting in Toronto, but it is not uncommon.
“Frequently in organized crime, if you need someone killed in Toronto, or Ontario, for whatever reason, you go to a hit person outside of the area,” he says. “I don’t know yet whether it’s the hit man exchange program, or it’s a case where a Montreal organized crime group felt that they had to kill this full-patch member of the Hell’s Angels because of some drug problem or some kind of a deal that went wrong … I don’t think it’s a war between the Hell’s Angels and a Montreal organized crime group. I think it’s certain individuals who were involved in criminal enterprises.”
Peel Regional Police Chief Chris McCord reiterated that Mississauga is a safe community.
“Members of Hells Angels reside in all different parts of this province. Here in Mississauga, I can assure the community that this still remains one of the safest communities in Canada,” he said. “This was clearly a targeted shooting and this was the individual that was the target of that shooting.”