Vaughan condo residents supporting each other through mass shooting

Vaughan condo residents supporting each other through mass shooting

VAUGHAN, Ontario. – Residents of a north Toronto condominium come together to support one another after five people were killed in a shootout at one of its buildings.

Patricia Acara said she has been checking in with residents and employees at her complex in Vaughan, Ontario daily since Sunday night’s shooting, which ended in the alleged gunman being killed by police.

“We’re trying to get through this,” Acara tearfully told the Canadian press as she stood in front of her building on Tuesday.

“We will stick together as a community. I think we’re going to get a lot closer.”

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The Vaughan resident says he feared Francesco Villi’s housing board row would “end very badly”.

Bouquets of flowers had been laid in the snow near the entrance of the upscale condominium where the shooting took place. A forensic identification unit truck was parked near the main entrance where police tape was still visible.

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Authorities said a 73-year-old apartment occupant, Francesco Villi, killed five people and wounded another inside his building with a semi-automatic pistol on Sunday night. Villi was shot by a police officer who pursued him to the third floor of the skyscraper.

Police said three of the five fatalities were housing council members.

Court documents for a man of the same name as Villi indicate a long history of threatening members of the housing board. They also reveal he was due to return to court on Monday when the board tried to remove him from court for harassment.

Acara, who lives in the high-rise building next door to the one where the shooting took place, said many residents who were evacuated from their units Sunday night were taken to her building.

She said she brought food and drinks when evacuees crowded her building lobby because she wanted to help.

“I brought a whole plate of fresh fruit, some biscuits, snacks for the little kids and a case of water. It would have helped them all night because a lot of them had to stay here all night,” she said.

Acara said the shooting bothered her deeply and she checked with members of the three-building condominium community.

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Police named gunman in Vaughan mass shooting, involved in dispute with condominium

“My husband, I, my brother and one of my friends … we go down, we make sure the concierge is ok. They said it was very scary. They’re in there,” she said.

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

“I’m so sorry for everyone,” Damuno said, crying.

York Regional Police said they were working to determine the motive for what they called a “horrific” shooting. They did not publish the names of the deceased.

Vaughn Mayor Steven Del Duca said he has asked facilities across the city to lower their flags to half-staff until further notice in commemoration of the victims.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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