‘It’s just unspeakable’: Vaughan mayor reacts to deadly mass shooting

Click to play video: 'Stephen Del Duca addresses media following mass shooting in Vaughan'
Stephen Del Duca addresses media following mass shooting in Vaughan
WATCH ABOVE: Mayor Stephen Del Duca spoke to reporters Monday morning to address Sunday night’s mass murder in a Vaughan, Ont. condo building. The mayor offered his condolences to the victims’ families and thanked first responders for their brave response to the tragedy – Dec 19, 2022

Vaughan Mayor Steven Del Duca has expressed sympathies for the victims of a deadly mass shooting in the city, adding “It’s just unspeakable.”

“I first of all, want to say, like thousands of other Vaughan residents, I first learned of the news last night of this horrific act that took place here in the building behind us, near the corner of Jane and Rutherford,” Del Duca said at a press conference Monday morning.

“Thousands more Vaughan residents woke up this morning to first learn the news of this horrible tragedy,” Del Duca continued. “On behalf of the people of Vaughan, I want to offer my very sincere condolences to the families of those victims who lost their lives yesterday in the shooting.”

Read more: Police name gunman in Vaughan mass shooting, was involved in dispute with condo

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Five victims were killed in the shooting Sunday evening and the 73-year-old gunman was also shot and killed by a police officer.

A seventh person, a 66-year-old woman who was a victim, was seriously injured and remains in hospital, York Regional Police Chief Jim MacSween said.

Del Duca said he hopes for a “speedy recovery.”

Among the victims who died were three men and two women, all of whom lived at the building, MacSween said. They were killed in three separate units on different floors.

Global News has learned that the gunman, Francesco Villi, was also a resident and was involved in a dispute with the condo, including court proceedings, though police wouldn’t speak on a possible motive.

Three of the victims were on the condo board, MacSween said.

Del Duca thanked the first responders who went to the scene as the situation was developing.

He said flags at all City of Vaughan facilities will be flying at half-mast to honour the victims.

“This is a community that I’ve lived in proudly for more than three decades. Vaughan is a safe community,” Del Duca said.

“But my heart goes out to the victims, their families, to people who knew them. It’s just unspeakable to imagine that this has taken place here in our community.”

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Del Duca said he has received calls from family and friends in the “close knit” city.

He said he never would have believed a mass shooting would happen in Vaughan and said it’s a “very generous and loving community.”

He spoke to MacSween to express support for York police officers and also to offer any supports needed from the City.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford also said he is “shocked and saddened” by the killings.

“All of Ontario is thinking of the victims of this senseless violence and the family and friends grieving their loss,” Ford said in a tweet.

“Thank you to our first responders for bravely being on scene.”

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In a tweet Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he is keeping the families and friends of the victims in his thoughts.

“To the person who was injured: I’m wishing you a fast and full recovery,” he wrote. “And to the first responders: Thank you for your hard work and your professionalism.”

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