CANADA (AP) — In a suburb above Toronto, a 73-year-old man who had a protracted argument with his condo board killed five people, three of whom were board members, after claiming in court and on social media that the building’s electrical room was making him ill.
Francesco Velli was the assailant in the incident in Vaughan, Ontario, on Sunday night, according to Chief James MacSween of the York Regional Police. At a news conference on Monday, he claimed that Velli shot four people—three men and two women—dead and a 66-year-old woman who was injured but is still alive and expected to recover.
He claimed that three of the victims were condo board members. Around 7:20 p.m. on Sunday, according to police, the building where Velli and the victims lived received a call reporting an active shooting. An officer then fatally shot Velli inside the building.
According to court documents, Velli had long maintained that the board of directors and the building’s developer were to responsible for the vibrations and emissions coming from the electrical room of the structure that was making him ill.
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Police are currently looking into the reasons behind the incident, which took place at three different flats in the building, according to MacSween.
Police discovered the bodies on various floors, according to Kristy Denette, a spokesperson for the Special Investigation Unit. She stated that Velli was armed with a semiautomatic handgun and that it was unlikely that he and the officer who killed him exchanged shots.
Velli posted rambling videos on Facebook on Sunday and the days preceding the attack, in which he discussed a legal battle with the condo board.
He claimed in the videos that the electrical room in the building was to blame for his health issues. His phone interactions with attorneys about his case are captured in the posts. The condo organization had asked him to sell his unit and leave, the building’s attorney said in one video he posted on Sunday.
“This tragedy completely deranges me. I’m sick, anyway,” he declared. He needed to go to the condo management office, where the manager would assist him in logging on because an online court hearing in his case was planned for Monday.
Velli asserted over the phone that he wasn’t ready to make his argument during the hearing. The lawyer responded that the board needed him to quit intimidating and shouting at people and to pay the condo corporation’s legal costs. He also inquired as to what the council expected from him. She observed the protracted nature of the case.
“Can I pass away in peace? Seven years of torture, according to Velli. He stated in one video that “They want me dead. You may take this body, but you may not take this soul. I’m ready to pass away.
In 2020, Velli sued six board members and officers, claiming that they “committed acts of crime and criminality from 2010 onward.” According to court records, he also claimed that they purposefully subjected him to five years of “torment” and “suffering” because of problems with the electrical area beneath his unit.
This summer, Justice Joseph Di Luca dismissed the case, describing it as “frivolous” and “vexatious.” According to court records, the board requested a restraining order against Velli in 2018 for his “supposedly threatening.
Abusive, intimidating, and harassing behavior” toward the board, property management, staff members, and tenants.
On Monday, John Santoro, a resident, said that he was aware that Velli had a guns acquisitions certificate, but he was unsure whether Velli truly had a firearm. He claimed to be mindful of Velli’s problems with the condo board.
“I am familiar with the man and the history. I am familiar with the directors. I am aware that this has been building for a while. Additionally, Santoro stated that I’ve repeatedly told my wife that this would end disastrously.
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“This is unfortunate because the courts let him down, in my opinion. He was let down by both the condominium corporation and the attorneys since it was evident from his social media posts that this individual needed professional aid.
According to Santoro, a former board member, the electric room equipment has padding on it so that when it vibrates, it doesn’t immediately hit the concrete. Wasn’t a monster, according to Santoro. He was exceedingly charitable and religious. I believe he became involved in a circumstance that turned out exceptionally severe for everyone.
In Canada, mass shootings are uncommon, and Toronto has long taken pride in being one of the safest major cities in the world. Just to the north of Toronto is Vaughan.
Canadians are wary of anything that would suggest they are emulating the high rate of gun violence in the United States, where mass shootings are frequent.
Steven Del Duca, mayor of Vaughan, declared that “everyone is shocked.” “We are entirely astonished after hearing or seeing this news this morning…. I never anticipated coming across this here.
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