‘Horrendous scene’: 6 dead, including gunman, after shooting inside Vaughan condo

The SIU says the suspect who shot and killed 5 people at a Vaughan condo building was using a semi-automatic handgun.

Six people are dead, including the 73-year-old gunman, after a mass shooting inside a condominium in Vaughan Sunday evening that may have stemmed from a long-standing dispute between a resident and the condo board.

Police have identified the gunman as Francesco Villi.

York Regional Police officers said they received calls about an active shooter inside the building, located on Jane Street just north of Rutherford Road, before 7:30 p.m.

York Police Chief Jim MacSween confirmed that six people were killed in the shooting, including Villi, who was fatally shot in an interaction with officers.

Investigators first found a woman who was shot in the face and was the lone survivor. The Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) identified the woman in a now-deleted news release as Doreen Di Nino, who is married to ATU Canada president John Di Nino. Officers said they later discovered other victims.

“Horrendous scene,” MacSween said on Sunday.

“There is no further threat to the community at this point. We offer our sincere condolences to the victims and their families.”

A variety of documents obtained by CityNews suggested Villi had an ongoing dispute with the condo board and according to an Ontario court docket, Villi was due to appear in a courtroom on Monday.

His battle with the board seemed to stem from a dispute about an electrical room in the building, below his unit. A lawyer’s letter stated that Villi “suffers daily from the excessive noises, odours, vibrations, and/or heat emanating” from the electrical room. He first complained about it in 2017 in an email to property management.

In an update later Monday, Chief MacSween confirmed that three of the people killed were condo board members, although he said it was too soon to speculate on a motive.

All of the victims, three men and two women, resided at the condo building, and were killed on three different floors, MacSween added.

Ontario’s police watchdog, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), was called to probe the fatal police interaction with Villi and the circumstances leading to him being shot.

The SIU is an independent provincial government agency investigating the conduct of officials that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault and the discharge of a firearm at a person.

MacSween noted that the deadly interaction with a male officer took place on the third floor of the building.

The officer who shot and killed the suspect is a 24-year veteran and MacSween said he’s “doing OK at this point.”

“He very likely saved lives with his actions last night,” he said, adding that police arrived on scene within about three minutes of first being called.

During an update at the scene Monday afternoon, SIU spokesperson Kirsty Denette said the suspect used a semi-automatic handgun in the shootings. She didn’t identify the suspect as Villi, saying the SIU didn’t have consent to release his name.

When asked if there was an exchange of gunfire with Villi, she said she “didn’t have information on that” and that she believed it was “one officer who fired at the man.”

Denette reiterated the agency’s role in probing the use of force used by the officer.

“The focus of the SIU is potential criminality involving police and the person who was killed. The focus of the York Regional Police investigation would be motive, kind of more circumstantial type things,” she said.

The York Regional Police homicide unit was called in to lead the investigation into the shootings of the six victims.

Officers conducted a large-scale evacuation of the building as part of their response to the shooting. Just after 1:15 a.m. on Monday, a York Regional Police spokesperson tweeted residents were being allowed back inside.

Two vehicles with police seals were removed from the Vaughan property early Monday by tow trucks, but it’s unclear why.

CityNews spoke with a resident who was leaving to go to work Monday morning. He said he was taken aback by what happened, describing the residential Vaughan neighbourhood as “quiet” and having “more privacy.”

“We wouldn’t imagine seeing that in our buildings … but nowadays you see everything,” he said.

Vaughan Mayor Steven Del Duca issued a brief message on Twitter early Monday in response to the shootings.

“On behalf of the City of Vaughan and council, I offer my condolences to the families of the victims killed in the shootings that occurred in the area of Jane Street and Rutherford Road. I want to recognize the brave first responders who are working to safeguard the situation,” he wrote.

Premier Doug Ford also praised emergency crews who responded to the scene while extending his condolences.

“I’m shocked and saddened by the tragic shooting in Vaughan last night. All of Ontario is thinking of the victims of this senseless violence and the family and friends grieving their loss,” he said on Twitter Monday morning.

With files from Faiza Amin

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today