A 73-year-old man suspected of gunning down five people at a condominium north of Toronto had a lengthy history of threatening members of the building’s board and believed they had a conspiracy to “systematically murder” him, court documents and online posts indicate.
York Regional Police said Francesco Villi killed three condo board members and two others at a Vaughan, Ont., highrise on Sunday night while a sixth shooting victim – the wife of a board member – remained in hospital with serious injuries.
Villi shot the victims in three different units in the building before an officer shot and killed him, police said.
Court documents involving a man with the same name, who lived at the building where the shooting took place, indicate a long dispute with the condo board.
Villi lived on the first floor of the building, in unit 104, court documents show.
He was set to return to court Monday as the board sought to have a judge find him in contempt for violating a previous order to not contact the board, to stop threatening its members and building staff and to cease posting about them on social media.
The condominium wanted Villi gone – it sought a penalty from court to force him to sell and vacate his unit within 90 days, a factum filed in court by the condominium corporation last month said.
Villi never made it to court.
Just hours before the Sunday shooting, a man by the same name posted a video to Facebook. In it, the man identified himself as Francesco Villi, listed the address of the building where the shooting took place and said that he was a resident there.
The video shows Villi calling a member of the condo board a “monster” and alleging building owners, condo board members, lawyers and judges were conspiring against him.
During the 16-minute video, glasses perched on his nose, he said everyone is “working to destroy me.”
“I will never become one (of) you – liars, demons – never,” he said.
There were about two dozen posts to the page since the start of December, many featuring videos of the same man talking about his battle with the condo board. In another video, posted Friday, he said he lives in “Hitler’s dungeon” and claimed “energy from hydroelectricity” was killing him. Court documents have said his unit was above an electrical room.
Another post shows an image of what appears to be a doctor’s note that reads Villi has a “chronic obstructive lung disease.”
Villi said he worked as a home builder for 40 years and immigrated to Canada from Italy with his mother when he was 17.
John Santoro, a resident of the building who said he knew the man, said Villi was a retired building developer who had been in a “long-brewing” dispute with the condo board.
“I think he was someone who was failed by the system,” said Santoro outside the condominium on Monday. “For it to get to this level, I don’t understand.”
In 2018, the condominium corporation took Villi to court seeking an order to have him cease his “threatening, abusive, intimidating and harassing behaviour towards the board members, property management, workers and residents,” legal documents show.