A gunman who killed five people Sunday in a high-rise outside Toronto, where he lives, has been ordered to appear in court the next day, where a council is seeking to force him to sell the apartment. mine.
Gunman Francesco Villi, 73, armed with a semi-automatic handgun, also wounded another tenant in the shooting before being shot dead by police.
The violence in the apartment, located in the city of Vaughan, about 20 miles north of Toronto, appeared to be the deadly culmination of years of threatening behavior that prompted council members to ask the court to evict him from the building. . Three of those killed were board members.
Tony Cutrone, who was elected to the condominium board earlier this year, said: “I know what it looks like, in that it looks like a big bad apartment board compared to a man. lonely old man.
But the more he learned about Mr. Villi and his conduct, the more worried he became about how one tenant could be so disruptive, not only to the board but to the entire court. home.
Mr Villi claims that his physical and mental health is being compromised by a poorly built electrical room underneath his first-floor apartment.
The building management has taken several measures to improve the room, including installing a new thermostat and adjusting the exhaust fan to make the room less noisy, according to media reports. Canada.
However, Mr Villi, according to court documents, continued an active campaign against the board, including filing lawsuits and sometimes mistreating some building employees. Mr Villi has posted rambling videos on Facebook about his dispute with the board.
The situation became so extreme that some workers, including at least two apartment managers and two security guards, quit. Court records say at least one person switched to the night shift to avoid contact with Mr Villi.
The condominium board issued a restraining order against Mr Villi in 2019, directing him to stop all contact with them and stop filming and recording the building’s staff and management.
Mr Villi has faced a fine of nearly C$30,000 for failing to comply with the order and in recent months has “continued his campaign of harassment”, according to a court petition expected. adjudicated on Monday.
An attorney who has represented Mr Villi in his disputes with the board did not respond to requests for comment. It is unclear if Mr. Villi has any family.
A judge dismissed Mr Villi’s case, ruling that there was “absolutely no material fact” in his complaint.
On Tuesday, authorities identified the five dead as 57-year-old Rita Camilleri; Naveed Dada, 59 years old; Russell Manock, 75 years old; Helen Manock, 71 years old; and Vittorio Panza, 79 years old. Ms. Camilleri, Mr. Dada and Mr. Manock are members of the apartment’s board of directors. Mr. Panza is the grandfather of Victor Mete, a defender of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the team said in a statement. The Leafs held a moment of silence before their game on Tuesday.
Mr. Cutrone said that in an attempt to alleviate some of the tension, he gave Mr. Villi a box of chocolates. But instead, he said, Mr Villi threw chocolates at his 79-year-old mother, who lives upstairs in the building, in an apartment Mr Cutrone owns.
On Sunday, Mr Cutrone, who does not live in the same building as Mr Villi, was due to visit his mother after the World Cup final but changed his mind because it was difficult to find parking for guests on the weekend.
Mr Cutrone said heavily armed officers entered his mother’s unit, searched for him and confirmed in a phone call that he was a member of the apartment’s board and was safe.
“I’m torn between being lucky to have survived, but that survivor’s guilt makes me feel bad for the non-survivors,” he said. “It was hard work, and it was all voluntary. We don’t get paid to do that.”
Mr Cutrone said he offered to help Mr Villi find a place in a long-term care facility and thought he seemed willing to talk about moving out.
Disputes between tenants and condominium associations over building codes tend to be quite common and can sometimes make serving on the board feel like an ungrateful task.
According to John Burdi, a Vaughan real estate agent who has worked for more than two decades in property management, tenants complain about issues like barking dogs and cigarette smoke. can quickly escalate if they are not addressed.
“I think people really don’t appreciate the dangers that condominium management and property managers face on a daily basis because there are so many heated situations and homeowners don’t always reach their goals. what they want,” he said.
Mr Burdi added: “Boards and property managers tend to be the punching bag for homeowners who have various stresses and factors in their life bothering them. “You are dealing with their lives, and the most intimate part of their lives is their home.”