York Regional Police and Hamilton police say a gunman wanted for the targeted shooting of notorious mobster Angelo Musitano is also responsible for a double shooting that killed a 28-year-old woman in Vaughan, Ont., last year.
“We believe the killer of Mila Barberi is also responsible for killing Angelo Musitano,” York Regional Police Det. Sgt. Jim Killby told reporters during a press conference Tuesday morning. “Both of our investigations have been extensive and thorough, and they continue to be ongoing.”
Police said Barberi and her 40-year-old boyfriend were both shot while inside a parked vehicle outside an electrical supply store on March 14, 2017, around 4:12 p.m. on Caster Avenue near Weston Road and Highway 7 in Vaughan.
Investigators said the female victim was found without vital signs and pronounced dead in hospital. The man, whose identity has not been released, suffered a gunshot wound to his arm and survived.
Police said Barberi was not the intended target. However, authorities said they haven’t been able to establish if her boyfriend was the person the gunman wanted to kill.
“It wasn’t a random attack on her or an intentional act against her. This was an intentional act against somebody that was at the business that day, it wasn’t Mila Barberi,” Killby said.
Killby said surveillance video collected near the shooting scene showed a Jeep Grand Cherokee and a two-door black Honda Civic traveling in tandem just prior to the homicide.
“The driver of the Honda coupe, believed to be the only person in this vehicle, parked at the side of the road, left the vehicle and walked to a Jeep Grand Cherokee,” Killby said.
“The Jeep Grand Cherokee drove directly to the parking lot at 155 Caster Avenue and the passenger exited the vehicle and then opened fire on our victims.”
Investigators said the Jeep returned back to the area of the Honda coupe and the driver attempted to set the vehicle on fire before both of them fled in the Honda.
Following the shooting, investigators said they were looking for a male suspect, approximately six feet two inches tall, weighing 250 pounds and wearing a dark jacket. Police said his face was covered when the shooting took place.
Police said the Jeep Grand Cherokee was located several days later by a passerby on Garyray Drive and Barmac Drive near Steeles and Weston in North York.
“Our investigation has led us to believe that the dark-coloured Honda coupe is the same Honda coupe that was driven in the Angelo Musitano homicide,” Killby said.
Two weeks ago, Hamilton police said Musitano was stalked and placed under surveillance for days before he was gunned down in his pickup truck outside his home around 4 p.m. on Chesapeake Drive in Waterdown on May 2, 2017.
Investigators said the shooting was targeted and that witnesses reported seeing a man with a heavy build wearing a dark toque, black jacket and beige pants leaving the scene in a dark-coloured, four-door sedan.
A few days following the shooting, police said they located the car the alleged gunman used in the shooting.
The burgundy 2006 Ford Fusion with rusty wheel rims was recovered around 7 p.m. on May 7 in the area of Fenton Drive and Braeheid Avenue in Waterdown.
Hamilton police said it is believed the culprit entered and fled in a second vehicle at this location.
Police said security footage received from neighbours showed a black 2006-2011 two-door Honda Civic in front of Musitano’s home four days prior to the shooting.
Investigators said a red-coloured 2017 Chevrolet Malibu was also seen in front of the home. A fourth vehicle, a grey or blue-coloured Infiniti sedan was also observed by a witness in the Braeheid Avenue area interacting with the burgundy Fusion in the days leading up to the murder.
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Police said there is more evidence to suggest the gunman is responsible for both murders but were not prepared to release those findings.
Hamilton police Det. Sgt. Peter Thom said during the press conference that they are also looking for a person of interest believed to have participated in the surveillance of Musitano and Barberi.
He is described as male white, with a slim build, between 5’8″ to 5’10” tall, with short or shaved hair. He has been seen operating a white four-door 2012 to 2016 Honda Civic Si at the time of the murders.
Police would not say if organized crime played a role in Barberi’s death or the shooting of her boyfriend.
“We haven’t been able to positively identify him as being in traditional organized crime,” Killby said.
Authorities are asking anyone with information on the vehicles or the suspects involved in both incidents to come forward.
VIDEO: Homicide update in the death of Angelo Musitano