Funeral services for the eldest son of Montreal's reputed Mafia boss will be held Saturday at a historic church in the city's Little Italy district.

Nick Rizzuto Jr., 42, was gunned down on a busy street in Montreal's western Notre-Dame-de-Grace district on Monday.


Nick Rizzuto Jr. was shot dead in broad daylight on Monday. ((Benoit Pelosse/Le Journal de Montreal/Canadian Press))

The low-profile businessman is the oldest child of Vito Rizzuto, the presumed head of Montreal's powerful Mafia underworld.

It's not clear whether Vito Rizzuto will be able to attend his son's funeral because he is in a Colorado prison serving a 10-year sentence on racketeering convictions related to three Brooklyn murders in 1981.

Prison officials at the U.S. prison said Rizzuto can ask to attend the funeral but would have to pay for security detail and travel expenses. Such requests are confidential and the prison would not say if Rizzuto has made the request.

The funeral is at 11 a.m. ET at the Church of the Madonna della Difesa, built in 1919 by Italian immigrants to Montreal.

Montreal police say officers will be on hand. "You have to understand, there will probably be many people there and there could be parking and traffic problems," said police spokesman Daniel Lacoursière.

Mafia watchers say they expect the funeral will draw major players from Montreal and New York City's underworld, and authorities are likely preparing heavy surveillance.

Visitation is scheduled for Thursday and Friday at a funeral home in St. Leonard, in Montreal's northeast. Rizzuto's mother, Giovanna Cammalleri, and his aunt, Maria Rizzuto Renda, own the funeral home.

Police are not revealing many details about their investigation into Rizzuto's death.

The alleged weapon was found at the scene, and several eyewitnesses saw a man in a hooded jacket flee on foot, but so far, investigators say they have no suspects.

Mafia experts say the bold killing could be a settling of accounts, or retaliation from Montreal's rival street gangs.