Estranged daughters of Vaughan condo gunman say he was ‘abusive husband and father’ – Canada

A gunman who went on a shooting rampage at a Toronto-area condo was a “controlling and abusive husband and father” who was estranged from his children, his three daughters said as they expressed their shock at what happened.

Francesco Villi killed five people — three condominium board members and two of their partners — in a shooting at his Vaughan, Ont., highrise on Sunday night before police shot him dead.

Three daughters of the 73-year-old gunman said they were “deeply heartbroken” for the victims’ families.

“We offer our heartfelt condolences. We are in absolute shock and utter devastation,” the daughters wrote in a statement shared Wednesday by the Special Investigations Unit, Ontario’s police watchdog.

Villi had an aggressive, “Jekyll and Hyde”-type personality, the daughters said, and a history of domestic abuse against both mothers of his children and his daughters.

“Francesco Villi was a controlling and abusive husband and father,” they wrote.

The daughters, whose names were not provided, said they had been estranged from their father for more than five years.

“His children tried to have some form of a relationship through the years and many offers of help were continuously denied, leaving them no choice but to cut off ties with him for their own health and well-being,” the statement read.

History of threatening condo board members

Villi had a history of threatening condo board members and was embroiled in a lengthy court battle involving the board, legal documents show.

Court documents indicate he believed the electrical room beneath his unit was improperly constructed and emitting electromagnetic waves.

The condominium corporation took him to court in an attempt to have him stop allegedly threatening behaviour toward board members, residents and staff. Villi countersued. A judge eventually tossed Villi’s claim, finding it was absent of facts and vexatious.

Villi was to be due back in court Monday after a judge found “significant evidence” the man had violated earlier court orders by making aggressive and sometimes threatening remarks to condo staff. As penalty, the board was set to ask the judge to compel Villi to sell and vacate his unit.

A police officer, in a grey uniform and helmet, crosses a road outside an apartment building at night.
York Regional Police tactical officers attend the scene of a shooting in Vaughan, Ont., Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022. Police say multiple people are dead, including the suspect, after a shooting in an apartment building. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Arlyn McAdorey (Arlyn McAdorey/The Canadian Press)

The afternoon of the shooting, and a day before that scheduled court hearing, a video was posted to Villi’s Facebook page.

“Everybody are working to destroy me,” he said during a 16-minute video laced with religious language and references to a biblical cataclysm.

At one point, he singled out a board member, calling her a “monster” and the “main demon” in the condominium. Hours later, she was killed.

“We are grieving for the families, and they are in our hearts,” the statement from Villi’s three daughters read.

The daughters said their statement was the only one the family would make and asked for privacy.

Candlelight vigil planned for victims

York Regional Police say five people were killed and one woman seriously injured Sunday night when the 73-year-old gunman went on a shooting rampage in his Vaughan, Ont., condo building before he was shot dead by police.

A candlelight vigil is expected to take place Wednesday night for the victims of the shooting.

The vigil is slated to take place at the courtyard outside Vaughan City Hall from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Three separate photos are shown. The first to the left is a man smiling and looking to his right, the next is a woman smiling at the camera holding a mug, and the last is a man with glasses smiling at the camera.
Naveed Dada, 59, (left), Rita Camilleri, 57, (middle) and Vittorio Panza, 79, are three of five victims who died during a Sunday night shooting at their condo complex in Vaughan, Ontario. CBC News is working to obtain photos of the other two victims. (Naveed Dada/LinkedIn, Rita Camilleri/Facebook and Carmela Pirri/Facebook)

Mayor Steven Del Duca is expected to deliver remarks and the city is asking attendees to bring a candle.

Police identified the victims as Rita Camilleri, Vittorio Panza, Russell Manock, Helen Manock, and Naveed Dada.

Doreen Di Nino’s husband has identified her as the lone survivor of the shooting and says she is resting in hospital after emergency surgery.

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