A 73-year-old man in a protracted dispute with his condominium board in a suburb of Toronto has killed five people, including three community leaders, after claiming in court and on social media that the electrical room in the apartment made him sick.
York Regional Police Chief James MacSween identified the suspect in Sunday night’s attack in Vaughan, Ontario, as Francesco Villi. He told a news conference Monday that Villi shot three men and two women and wounded a 66-year-old woman, who is in hospital and expected to survive.
“Three of the victims were members of the condominium board,” he said.
Police said officers responded to a report of a shooting at the building around 7:20 p.m. Sunday, and that an officer had fatally shot Villi in the building, where Villi and the victims lived.
Villi has long complained that vibrations and emissions from the building’s electrical room were making him sick, and that board members and the building’s developer were to blame, court documents show.
MacSween said police are still investigating the motive for the attack, which took place in three separate units of the building.
Special Investigations Unit spokeswoman Kristy Denette said police found the victims on several floors. He said Villi had a semi-automatic pistol and investigators do not believe he exchanged fire with the officer who killed him.
On Sunday and in the days leading up to the attack, Villi posted confusing videos on Facebook discussing a legal dispute with the condominium board.
In the videos, he claimed to have health problems caused by the building’s electrical room. The messages contain recordings of telephone conversations he had with lawyers about his case. In one of the videos she posted Sunday, the building’s attorney noted that the condominium company had asked her to sell her apartment and move.
“This tragedy drives me crazy. I’m sick,” he said.
The attorney noted that an online hearing on her case was scheduled for Monday and that she would have to go to the condominium’s administrative office, where the manager would help her get online.
During the telephone conversation, Villi indicated that he was not prepared to put forward his arguments at the hearing. He also asked what the board wanted from him, to which the attorney said the board needed him to stop harassing and yelling at people, and to pay the condominium company’s legal fees. She noted that the case had been dragging on for years.
“Can I die in peace? (It’s been) seven years of torture,” Villi said.
In a video he added: “They want me dead. They can take this body, but never this soul… I’m ready to die.”
Villi filed a lawsuit against six directors and board members in 2020, alleging they had “committed delinquent and criminal acts since 2010”.
He also accused them of deliberately causing him five years of “torment” and “torture” related to problems he was having with the electrical room under his unit, court documents said. Judge Joseph Di Luca dismissed the lawsuit this summer, calling it “frivolous” and “annoying.”
According to court documents, the board sought a restraining order against Villi for his “allegedly threatening, abusive, intimidating and intimidating conduct” toward the board, condominium management, employees and residents.