What we know about the victims of the Vaughan, Ont., condo shooting – Canada

Police have identified the five victims killed in a mass shooting at a Vaughan, Ont. condo building that ended with the suspected gunman shot dead by police.

Rita Camilleri, 71, Vittorio Panza, 79, Russell Manock, 75, Lorraine Manock, 71, and Naveed Dada, 59, died as a result of the Sunday shooting at Bellaria Residences, York Regional Police said in a news release Tuesday. Three were members of the building’s condo board, police say. 

A sixth victim who was injured in the shooting remains in hospital with serious injuries, police added.

CBC News has verified photos of three of those killed: Naveed Dada, Rita Camilleri and Vittorio Panza, and is working to obtain photos of the two additional victims.

“People are grieving,” said York Regional Police Jim MacSween. “It’s really important for not only us as an organization, but for the community to wrap their arms around these families and help them through this very difficult time.”

The 73-year-old suspected shooter, Francesco Villi, was a resident of the condo and used a semi-automatic handgun on his victims before he was shot dead by a police officer on the third floor, authorities say.

Court documents involving a man with the same name as Villi point to a long history of threatening members of the condo board, which sought to have Villi evicted. The board had a court hearing scheduled on Monday, but the case was stayed following his death. 

Other documents show Villi alleged the directors had caused him five years of “torment” and “torture” related to alleged issues with the electrical room below his unit.

Three of the people killed on Sunday night, Rita Camilleri, Russell Manock and Naveed Dada, appear to be named as defendants in a July ruling that dismissed Villi’s accusations against the condo board members as “frivolous, vexatious or an abuse of process.”

2 couples among those killed

The families of each victim provided details about their loved ones to police, MacSween said. 

Camilleri and Panza were husband and wife. 

Camilleri’s family described her as a smart businesswoman with a contagious laugh and zest for life. She loved to travel, cook and host for her loved ones. 

“She was a loving daughter, sister, partner and the most caring aunt,” read MacSween.

WATCH | Police share details of Vaughan condo shooting victims:

Police share details of Vaughan condo shooting victims

With permission from their families, York Regional Police chief Jim MacSween shared information about each of the victims in Monday’s deadly condo tower shooting, in remembrance of who they were and how much they meant to their loved ones.

Fellow condo board member Tony Cutrone said Camilleri was sweet, funny and had a smile for everyone. She worked tirelessly in the volunteer board position and worked in real estate before she retired.

“She had so much experience that she brought to the table,” he said. “And she was happy to share that.”

Food was very important to Camilleri and she always wanted to sit and eat supper with her husband, Cutrone added.

Earlier this month she organized a Christmas party for the residents of the condominium. After the party was over she was talking about a barbecue for the residents in June — community and kindness were at her core, Cutrone said.

“I don’t know how we are going to go on without her.”

A woman looks at a memorial outside a condo complex.
Vaughan councillor Marilyn Iafrate brings flowers to a memorial near a condo at 9235 Jane St. in Vaughan, where a shooter killed five victims just a few days earlier. (CBC)

Vittorio Panza was a “very proud” Italian immigrant, a well-respected realtor for over 40 years and a kind-hearted, gentle individual with a great passion for music, MacSween said. 

“He was a husband, a father to three daughters, and a proud nonno [grandfather] to 7 grandchildren,” said MacSween.

Panza was the grandfather of Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Victor Mete. The team said it was “shocked and saddened” by the tragic shooting.

“Our hearts go out to Victor and his family, to all the families and friends of those affected, and to the local community,” the team said in a statement. 

Mike Colle, a Toronto city councillor, said Panza worked on some of his campaigns. 

“He was your proud, hardworking immigrant Italian father and grandfather,” he said, adding Panza was always impeccably dressed and loved to watch hockey and baseball.

The death has left Colle shaken, he said, and has affected Vaughan’s tight-knit Italian community.

‘Unspeakable tragic loss’

Russell Manock was described as the most hardworking, caring and loving father and grandfather who cherished “every moment” he spent with his loved ones. 

“Trusted and loved by everyone who knew him, he was their family rock,” said MacSween.

Loraine Manock, meanwhile, was a selfless, generous and kind soul that “touched every person’s lives” she met.

The couple were dedicated to each other and their family, he said.

“Soulmates in life and now in heaven, the family are devastated by this unspeakable tragic loss,” said MacSween.

Naveed Dada, meanwhile, was a son and a brother who spent half his life in Canada.

“Naveed always wanted to serve his community and help those in need,” said MacSween. 

Dada, meanwhile, was remembered as a peacemaker by his fellow board member Cutrone.

“Naveed is mister smiley,” Cutrone said. “He is always trying to make peace.”

‘I was the likely target’

That victim — a 66-year-old woman — is expected to live, her husband announced Tuesday.

John Di Nino, the condominium board’s president, said his wife Doreen is in stable condition after undergoing emergency surgery Monday, but she has a long road to recovery. While physical injuries should heal, he’s worried about long-lasting trauma from the shooting.

He says he was in his condo when the gunman showed up at the door and opened fire on his wife. He remembers scrambling over to help her after Villi allegedly shot her with a bullet he believes was meant for him. 

“I was the likely target, not my wife,” Di Nino said. “But he moved on after shooting her. That’s the thing that is running through my head right now.”

WATCH | Husband of injured victim calls for tighter gun control:

Husband of injured victim calls for tighter gun control following mass shooting in Vaughan, Ont.

John Di Nino, whose wife was injured in a mass shooting in Vaughan, Ont. on Sunday, says his family ‘is in shambles over a senseless act of violence.’ He’s now hoping the incident will be a catalyst for conversations around gun control and mental health.

Their home remains a crime scene days after the shooting. Di Nino is spending most of his time by Doreen’s side, but says he isn’t sure they can move back to condo when she’s ready to leave the hospital.

Di Nino, who’s also the president of the Amalgamated Transit Union Canada, said he believes the gunman targeted his home because of a long-standing dispute with the condominium board, who were all volunteers. He said all the victims who died were his friends.

“Our family has been put in shambles over a senseless act of violence that could’ve been avoided,” said Di Nino, his voice faltering. 

Di Nino says the incident needs to spur a discussion around mental health and gun control.

“We have been dealing with this on the board for four years. Things could’ve changed, it didn’t have to get to this point.”

Community grieves, supports residents

At the Vaughan building located north of Toronto, many are still shaken by what happened Sunday.

Resident Patricia Acara said she has been checking in regularly with residents and staff at her complex, where many residents were brought when the condo was evacuated. 

“We’re trying to get through this,” Acara said. “We’re gonna stick together as a community. I think we’re going to become a lot closer.”

Bouquets of flowers had been placed in the snow outside the condo Tuesday. A forensic identification unit truck was parked by the main doors, where police tape could still be seen.

Vaughan councillor Marilyn Iafrate dropped flowers by a memorial near the condo complex — one bunch for each of the five victims killed. 

“How can this possibly happen?” said Iafrate.

“We all have issues, we all have things we don’t like … but to go to this extreme to resolve an issue is just unfathomable.”

Mayor of Vaughan Steven Del Duca said that he’s asked facilities across the city to lower their flags to half-mast until further notice in memory of the victims.

The Special Investigations Unit, which is called to probe police-involved fatalities in Ontario, is still investigating the incident. 

An autopsy for the alleged gunman will take place Wednesday, the SIU says.

York Regional Police have said they are working to determine the motive in what they’ve called a “horrendous” shooting. 

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