5 dead, gunman killed in shooting near Toronto

Dec. 19 (UPI) -- Five people died and the suspected gunman was killed, following a shooting that erupted Sunday night at a condo tower in a city just north of Toronto, authorities said.

York Regional Police said in a statement that officers responded to a 7:20 p.m. call of an active shooting at a condo building located on Jane Street near Rutherford Road in the city of Vaughan.


Officers arrived to discover "a horrific scene," Chief Jim MacSween of York Regional Police said Monday during a press conference.

Five people were found to be shot and killed in three separate units in the condo tower, he said.

The suspect, whom MacSween identified as Francesco Villi, a 72-year-old resident of the building, died in an "interaction" with police.

The officer who shot and killed Villi is a 24-year-veteran of force "and he very likely saved lives by his actions last night," MacSween said.

The victims have been identified as three men and two woman. A sixth victim identified as a 66-year-old woman remains in the hospital after sustaining serious injuries in the shooting.

All victims lived in the building, he said, adding that three of them sat on the condo board.


MacSween would not say if their affiliation to the board was a motivating factor behind the shooting and that will be part of their investigation into Villi's motivation, he said.

"Multiple search warrants are and will be executed and we continue to interview witnesses and until that's complete we can't rule anything out," he said. "But rest assured, detectives in the homicide bureau are working diligently to find the answers in this horrible incident."

Further details of the shooting will not be released to the public as the incident is now being investigated by the Special investigations Unit, he explained.

Vaughan Mayor Steven Del Duca has ordered flags on all city facilities to be lowered to half-mast in memory of the victims.

"On behalf of the City of Vaughan and Council, I offer my condolences to the families of the victims killed in the shootings that occurred in the area of Jane Street and Rutherford Road," Vaughan Mayor Steven Del Duca said in a statement. "I want to recognize the brave first responders who are working to safeguard the situation."

Residents of the condo building who were evacuated due to the shooting have been informed that they may return to their apartments.


"We thank you for your patience and understanding while we worked to ensure safety and preserve evidence," York Regional Police tweeted.

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