Police link 2017 killings of reputed mobster Angelo Musitano and vet technician
Authorities believe the same man is responsible for the separate shootings of well-known Hamilton mobster and Mila Barberi, 28, who police say was ‘in the wrong place at the wrong time.’
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The same hitman who gunned down reputed Hamilton mobster Angelo Musitano last year also killed a veterinary technician who was in “the wrong place at the wrong time” two months earlier in York Region, police say.
“We’re confident that there was a link between these two,” Det.-Sgt. Jim Kilby of York Region police said Tuesday in a news conference in Vaughan.
Video surveillance suggests the same husky man committed both crimes and that a black Honda Civic was used in both cases, police said.
There’s no known motive for the murders, police said.
Mila Barberi, 28, isn’t believed to be the hitman’s intended target, Kilby said.
“I think it’s a classic case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Kilby said.
Her 40-year-old boyfriend sat beside her on March 14, 2017 in a BMW SUV when she was shot in a parking lot of an industrial park on Caster Ave. near Weston Rd. and Highway 7 in Woodbridge.
He was treated with minor hand injuries.
His name has not been released by police and Kilby said police believe a threat still exists against his life.
Barberi worked at Napa Valley Animal Hospital and had no criminal record.
“She was there to pick up her boyfriend from work,” said Kilby, adding that some people close to her disapproved of her boyfriend.
The killer in the Barberi and Musitano murders was described as six-foot-two and 250 pounds.
Hamilton police said that Musitano, 39, was stalked by several vehicles before he was killed on May 2, 2017 in the driveway of his suburban home while his wife and three children were inside.
“We have basically zero cooperation from the (Musitano) family,” Det.-Sgt. Peter Thom of Hamilton police, lead investigator in the murder of Musitano, said at the news conference.
Musitano’s father served prison time for the 1983 murder of Toronto mobster Domenic Racco.
Angelo Musitano was released from prison with his brother Pasquale (Pat) in 2006, after they were both convicted of conspiracy in the gangland murder of Carmen Barillaro in Niagara Falls in 1997.
The brothers were originally also charged with the 1997 murder of Johnny (Pops) Papalia, a longtime Hamilton mob boss and Barillaro’s leader.
Kilby said there are no known links between the murders and the unsolved gangland hits of Carmen Verducci outside a Woodbridge café in April 2014 and Antonio (Tony Large) Sergi in March 2017 in Etobicoke.
Kilby said that the family of Barberi’s boyfriend has cooperated.
Kilby said the killers made a number of mistakes, including botching an attempt to burn a getaway vehicle, a Jeep Cherokee that had been stolen in Quebec a month earlier.
“They thought they were using a clean vehicle to carrying out this crime,” Kilby said, adding that police have viewed thousands of hours of surveillance tapes from York Region businesses.
“In the city of Vaughan there was a tremendous amount of video surveillance that was available,” Kilby said.
Last week, Hamilton police released information on outstanding suspects and vehicles in the Musitano investigation.
York Region police discovered a Jeep Grand Cherokee allegedly used in the murder near Garyray and Barmac Drs. in the Weston Rd. and Steeles Ave. W. area.
Police said they believe the Musitano hit team used a stolen burgundy Ford Fusion that was found in Waterdown five days after the murder.
Other vehicles used to stalk Musitano were a 2006 to 2011 black, two-door Honda Civic, 2017 red Chevrolet Malibu and a gray or blue Infiniti sedan, police said.
Pat Musitano’s home was hit with several bullets on June 27, 2017.
Thom said that police have no direct connection between that attack and the murder of Angelo Musitano.