Family of Vaughan condo shooter Francesco Villi say he controlled and abused husband, father
The shooter who killed five people inside a Vaughan high-rise after a years-long dispute with the building’s board was a ‘controlling and abusive’ husband and father who was estranged from his children, his family told the Star on Tuesday.
In a written statement, the three daughters of Francesco Villi – the 73-year-old man shot dead by police on Sunday after making a fatal shooting in his building – say they are stunned and mourn the families of the victims.
“Words cannot begin to express how heartbroken we are for the families affected by this horrific tragedy. We offer our deepest condolences,” the girls wrote.
« We are in absolute shock and utter devastation at the events that have transpired. »
The star is not naming Villi’s family members due to security concerns over associating with a mass shooter.
The family’s statement came as York Regional Police on Tuesday identified the victims of the shooting as three members of the condo’s board of directors and two members of their family: board members Naveed Dada, 59 , and Rita Camilleri, 57; Camilleri’s partner, Vittorio Panza, 79; Former condo board member Russell Manock, 75, and his wife Helen, 71. A sixth victim, who was seriously injured but is expected to survive, has been identified as Doreen Di Nino, 66, the wife of council member John Di Nino.
Villi had been embroiled in a protracted battle with the condominium board of the Bellaria Residences complex on Jane Street, near Rutherford Road in Maple. The dispute stemmed from Villi’s claims about his condominium unit, which was located above the building’s electrical room, a space he said had been improperly constructed, resulting in « electromagnetic waves » causing him years of of pain and suffering.
A gunman killed five people in a shootout inside a Vaughan high-rise before being shot and killed by police on Sunday night.
He previously filed a lawsuit accusing past and current board members of perjury, extortion, fraud and more – a case dismissed by a judge as “vexatious” and “frivolous”. The shooting happened on the eve of a Monday court date where the condo corporation was seeking to evict Villi from his unit.
According to his daughters, Villi had been a « controlling and abusive husband and father ». There had been a history of domestic violence with his children and their mothers, they said.
« He had an aggressive demeanor and a Jekyll-and-Hyde type personality, » the statement said.
Her daughters said for years they had tried to have a relationship and « the many offers of help were continually turned down ». This left them « no choice but to cut ties with him for their own health and well-being, » the statement said.
According to his daughters, they had been separated from their father for more than five years.
« We mourn the families, and they are in our hearts, » the girls said, ending their statement with a request for confidentiality.
York Regional Police said they were called to the skyscraper around 7:20 p.m. Sunday, shortly after Villi began going door to door, shooting through three units while brandishing a semi handgun -automatique.
He was shot by an officer on the third floor and pronounced dead around 8 p.m.
« We realize that a crime of this magnitude is traumatic for friends and family who, at this time of year in particular, now have to deal with the tragic deaths of their loved ones, » the chief of the police said on Monday. York Regional Police, Jim MacSween.