Published December 20, 2022

Details emerge of the five 'everyday Canadians' gunned down in condo rampage

Court documents show the shooter had a long-running beef with the condo's board

By Fakiha Baig in Vaughan

One was a the building peacemaker who always had a smile on his face.

Another was a savvy business woman who knew the ins and outs of real estate. 

Still another was the proud grandfather of a Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman.

Details emerged Tuesday about the victims in a weekend shooting rampage at a Vaughan condo. 

Court documents show the shooter, 73-year-old Francesco Villi, had a long-running beef with the condo's board and police believe he went door-to-door in the highrise Sunday night gunning down some of its members and their loved ones. 

York Regional Police identified those who died as Rita Camilleri, 57, her 79-year-old husband Vittorio Panza, Russell Manock, 75, his 71-year-old wife Lorraine Manock, and Naveed Dada, 59.

Camilleri, Russell Manock and Dada were members of the Vaughan condo's board. Another woman, 66-year-old Doreen Di Nino, the wife of the condo board's president, was also shot but survived. 

York Regional Police Chief Jim MacSween said those who died were kind, generous and loved their families. 

"These are (victims) who had grandchildren,"  MacSween said. 

"These are people who have loved ones and who were actually killed with their loved ones, their partners ... There's a lot of people that have been impacted by this."

Police have said Villi used a semi-automatic handgun on his victims before being shot dead by offices. 

Court documents show Villi had a lengthy history of threatening members of the condo board.

Camilleri, Manock and Dada were named among several defendants in a court ruling from July that dismissed Villi's accusations against the condo board members as "frivolous, vexatious or an abuse of process." 

Villi believed the board was trying to kill him with electromagnetic waves emanating from the electrical room below his unit, documents indicate. The legal filings also show Villi was to return to court this past Monday as the board sought to have him evicted for being a nuisance.

On Tuesday, MacSween shared what the families of those who died had said about their loved ones. 

Camilleri was a savvy business woman "who had a contagious laugh and a zest for life," MacSween said.

"She was a loving daughter, sister, partner and the most caring and she loves to travel, cook and host for her family and friends who she cared for deeply," he said. 

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 previously 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. 

"She was great," Cutrone said. "I don’t know how we are going to go on without her."

Camilleri's husband, Panza, was Italian immigrant passionate about music, police said. He was a husband, a father to three daughters, and a proud 'nono' to seven grandchildren, they said. 

The Toronto Maple Leafs said Panza was the maternal grandfather of defenceman Victor Mete.

"The Toronto Maple Leafs are shocked and saddened by the tragic shooting that took place in Vaughan this past Sunday," the team wrote in a statement. 

Mike Colle, a Toronto city councillor, said Panza had worked on some of his campaigns and they got to know each other.

"He was your proud, hardworking immigrant Italian father and grandfather," he said. 

Panza was very proud of his Italian heritage, was always impeccably dressed and enjoyed a delicious Italian meal, Colle said. Panza also loved to watch hockey and baseball. 

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

"These were everyday Canadians that were in their homes and doing things we all do," he said. "You don't think it's going to happen to anybody you know." 

Manock was also a family man, said MacSween.

"(He) was the most hardworking, caring, loving father and grandfather who cherished every moment he spent with his family, trusted and loved by everyone who knew him," MacSween said. 

Manock's wife, Lorraine, was a selfless, generous, kind soul and touched every person she met, he said. Police had earlier identified her as Helen Manock but later said she went by Lorraine. 

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

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

Residents of the condo complex said Tuesday that they were coming together to support one another while processing what had happened. 

A makeshift memorial made up of flowers continued to grow in the snow near the entrance of the highrise. A forensic identification unit truck was parked by the main doors, where police tape could still be seen. 

Resident Patricia Acara said she has been checking in regularly with fellow residents and staff.

"We're trying to get through this," she said through tears as she stood outside her building. "We're going to stick together as a community. I think we're going to become a lot closer."

Acara, who lives in the highrise beside the one where the shooting took place, said many residents evacuated from their units on Sunday night were brought over to her building. She said she brought food and drinks down as the evacuees crowded her building lobby because she wanted to help. 

Resident Antonio Damuno said he was still shaken by what happened after hearing gunshots in his building on Sunday night. 

"I'm so sorry for everybody," Damuno said while crying.

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

- with files from Kelly Geraldine Malone. 

Banner image: Floral tributes are shown outside a condo building in Vaughan, Ont., Tuesday, Dec.20, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fakiha Baig

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 20, 2022.

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