Police say three of the five people killed during a mass shooting at a building in Vaughan, Ont. were members of the condo board.
The update was provided by York Regional Police on Monday afternoon. Chief Jim MacSween said three of the victims were men and two were women. A 66-year -old woman was seriously injured and remains in hospital.
This is a breaking news update. Previous story follows.
Officers responding to a mass shooting in Vaughan Sunday night found multiple people dead on several floors of a condo building before the gunman was shot dead by an officer in a hallway, Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit said Monday.
Officers with York Regional Police were dispatched to the building on Jane Street, just north of Rutherford Road, for an active shooting at around 7:20 p.m. and the gunman was pronounced dead about 40 minutes later, SIU Spokesperson Kristy Denette told reporters.
“My undersdanding of what took place was there was multiple deceased located on several floors,” Denette said.
She said investigators have identified the deceased gunman, but his family has not consented to the release of his identity.
However a source close to the investigation, who was not authorized to speak publicly, identified the suspected gunman to The Canadian Press as Francesco Villi.
“The man was a resident in the building and the man was using a semiautomatic handgun,” Denette said.
She said a single officer discharged their firearm multiple times, fatally injuring the 73-year-old gunman.
The weapon has been recovered from the scene, but Denette could not say whether or not the gun was legally purchased.
“I don’t have any information as far as any potential criminal history of the man who was killed,” Denette said.
The SIU is an arm’s length provincial agency which investigates anytime police are involved in a death, serious injury, or allegations of sexual assault.
Denette said that they are looking into the circumstances surrounding the fatal shooting of the gunman by police, but it will be up to York Regional Police (YRP) to provide further details about the murder of the five other individuals.
Police investigate the scene of a fatal shooting in Vaughan, Ont. where six people were left dead. (Corey Baird/CTV News Toronto)
Police haven’t commented on a possible motive but multiple residents have told CP24 that the suspected gunman was involved in some sort of dispute with the condo board at the building.
York Regional Police are expected to provide an update on the mass shooting at 2 p.m. at police headquarters.
During the incident, the gunman shot six people. Five were killed, and one is now in hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. That individual is expected to survive, York Regional Police Chief Jim MacSween told reporters at the scene late last night.
The SIU has assigned four investigators and two forensic investigators to the case. One subject officer has been designated so far.
An autopsy is set to take place Tuesday.
OFFICERS CALLED TO ‘HORRENDOUS SCENE’
MacSween said at about 7:20 p.m. last night police responded to an “active shooting call” at a condominium at 9325 Jane St.
“Once the officers arrived, they were met with a horrendous scene where numerous victims were deceased,” he said, noting YRP’s homicide unit is doing a “parallel investigation” into the five fatal shootings that occurred prior to officers engaging with the suspect.
Currently, several officers from YRP remain at the scene, including members of the force’s emergency response unit, who “conducted a thorough search of the building to ensure there are no additional victims and that it’s safe,” YRP said in their release. Forensic identification officers are also on hand.
Members of YRP’s emergency response unit were also on hand Sunday evening to assist in clearing the buildings in the residential complex.
In a tweet posted at 1:18 a.m., police said the residents of those evacuated buildings “are now able to return to their homes.”
“We thank you for your patience and understanding while we worked to ensure safety and preserve evidence,” the force said.
York Regional Police were called to a condo on Jane Street, near Rutherford Rd., Sunday evening following a mass shooting.
MacSween said while it is unclear at this point what “drew this person here,” there is “no further threat to the community at this point.”
“Right now we just offer sincere condolences to the victims’ families. We’re in the process right now of doing notifications to those families,” he said, adding for now he is unable to share any information about the victim
VAUGHAN COMMUNITY ‘IN ABSOLUTE SHOCK’
Vaughan Mayor Steven Del Duca spoke with reporters at the scene Monday and said his community is “horrified” after the mass shooting.
“It’s just unspeakable to imagine that this has taken place here in our community,” Del Duca told reporters Monday morning. He said flags would fly at half-mast at all city buildings today.
He offered few details about the incident, but urged the community not to “speculate” about the tragedy.
“I would urge everyone to wait until York Regional Police has concluded their investigation and they provide their updates before we speculate,” he said.
Del Duca offered condolences to the families of the victims for the “unspeakable” incident. He said he also spoke with Chief MacSween to express his support for the officers.
“I want to thank all of our brave first responders for the work that they did yesterday to secure what I know must have been a very difficult situation,” Del Duca said.
One man who lives at the building told CP24 he spent the night elsewhere after returning home Sunday to find the building sealed off with police tape. He said he’s lived at the building for four years and ‘nothing” like this has happened before.
“It’s getting crazier every day, you know,” said the man, who identified himself as Abdul.
In a tweet, Ontario Premier Doug Ford also expressed his condolences for the families of the victims.
“I’m shocked and saddened by the tragic shooting in Vaughan last night,” Ford wrote. “All of Ontario is thinking of the victims of this senseless violence and the family and friends grieving their loss. Thank you to our first responders for bravely being on scene.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also commented on the mass killing, offering his conolences.
“To the families and friends of the victims of yesterday’s shooting in Vaughan: I’m keeping you in my thoughts. To the person who was injured: I’m wishing you a fast and full recovery,” Trudeau wrote. “And to the first responders: Thank you for your hard work and your professionalism.”
Anyone who saw what happened or anyone with photos or video surveillance, cell phone video, or dashcam footage of the shooting is being urged to contact the SIU’s lead investigators at 1-800-787-8529 or https://siu.on.ca/en/appeals.php.
YRP said anyone with information about the shooting is being asked to contact the York Regional Police homicide unit at 1-288-876-5423, ext. 7865 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or www.1800222tips.com.
– With files from The Canadian Press
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