Vaughan condo shooting: Three victims were on condo board

The man who went on a shooting spree at a Canada apartment complex killed five of his neighbours, including members of the building’s board, police said.

The 73-year-old suspect went from apartment to apartment looking for his victims, though police have not disclosed his motive.

The alleged gunman, a longtime resident of the building, was shot and killed by police.

Police have yet to formally identified the victims.

York Region police first responded to reports of a shooting at an apartment building in Vaughan, about 30km (19 miles) north of Toronto, at 19:20 (00:20 GMT) on Sunday.

Police chief Jim MacSween said officers found a “horrendous scene” when they arrived, with five victims in three separate apartments.

At a press conference on Monday, a spokeswoman for Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit, which probes police-involved deaths, said responding officers shot the gunman in a hallway.

The official added that the gunman, identified as Francesco Villi, used a semi-automatic handgun.

Three of the five victims were members of the apartment building’s board of directors, police say.

An injured person has also been taken to hospital in a serious condition.

Authorities are investigating the motive, including a possible connection between the gunman and the building’s management board.

Social media accounts under the alleged gunman’s name feature several recently posted videos, in which he expressed grievances with the building’s management because of an electrical unit underneath his apartment.

The Toronto Star reported the shooter was a longtime resident who had for years targeted the condo board with lawsuits as part of a running dispute with board members.

Speaking to local media, residents said they were stunned that a shooting rampage took place in their otherwise quiet neighbourhood.

“I feel pretty safe here so I’m pretty shocked to hear something like this happened,” Jordan Bennett, a resident in the building, told CBC News.

Condolences have poured in from politicians, including Vaughan Mayor Stephen Del Duca and Ontario Premier Doug Ford.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also offered his condolences to the families in a tweet, writing: “I’m keeping you in my thoughts.”

“To the person who was injured: I’m wishing you a fast and full recovery,” Mr Trudeau added. “And to the first responders: Thank you for your hard work and your professionalism.”

While it has fewer mass shootings than the US, Canada has seen several recent high-profile violent incidents as of late.

In 2020, the country’s worst mass shooting in history unfolded in the province of Nova Scotia, where a gunman disguised as a policeman killed 22 people.

Canada’s government has since introduced new legislation that will ban the purchase and import of handguns and “assault-style” firearms, increase penalties for firearms smuggling and trafficking, and establish a so-called “red flag” law that would allow guns to be temporarily seized from people who pose a risk to themselves and others, among other measures.

The move has been criticised by some, including Canadian hunters who argue it could affect several rifles and shotguns primarily used for hunting and sport.

Others have said the law doesn’t address the issue of illegal weapons smuggling into Canada – a majority of which cross through the US-Canada border.

The legislation is currently before a parliamentary committee. Mr Trudeau announced a national freeze on the sale, purchase and transfer of handguns earlier this year as a stopgap until the bill is passed.

Source: BBC News

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