Hamilton

Police release surveillance video of suspect vehicle in Iavarone homicide

Albert Iavarone, a real estate agent who police say had connections to organized crime, was shot and killed around 10 p.m. on Thursday in what's being described as a "targeted attack."

Family says they're not speaking with police and want to be 'left in peace'

Hamilton police have released surveillance video of a light-coloured SUV driving through Albert Iavarone's neighbourhood on the night he was killed and are asking anyone with dashcam footage from the previous two weeks to contact them. (Hamilton Police Service)

Hamilton police have released surveillance video of a light-coloured SUV believed to be the vehicle used by the killer on the night Albert Iavarone was gunned down outside his home.

And investigators hope to track down more video evidence from the neighbourhood.

They believe Iavarone's killer scouted the home and Ancaster neighbourhood prior to the ambush and are asking anyone with dashcam footage from the two weeks leading up to the Sept. 13 shooting to contact them.

"We believe there would have been some kind of surveillance or homework done on the victim's house," explained Det. Sgt. Peter Thom, who is managing the investigation.

The 50-year-old real estate agent, who police say had connections to organized crime, was killed at his home around 10 p.m. in what's being described as a "targeted attack."

Hamilton police have released surveillance video of a vehicle believed to be connected to the murder of Albert Iavarone. 0:08

Police say the video is only suspect information they currently have. It shows an "SUV or crossover-type" vehicle driving slowly through the neighbourhood during night time.

Family not speaking to police

The new information comes as Iavarone's family issued a statement asking to be "left in peace" and saying they aren't speaking with police.

"Albert was a kind-hearted family man who spent his time with his family and specifically his special needs son," read a statement released by his wife, Andrea.

"The Iavarone family would like to be left in peace at this time and will not be speaking with media or police in relation to this or any other matters."

Albert Iavarone (left), a Hamilton real estate agent who police say had connections to organized crime, was killed outside his Ancaster home on Sept. 13. His family says he was a devoted father who spent time with his "special needs son." (Iavarone Family)

Photos shared by the family showed the 50-year-old smiling and hugging his son.

An online obituary for Iavarone describes him as a "devoted husband" who will be "greatly missed by many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends."

Connections to organized crime

Police say the homicide victim didn't have a criminal record, but was known to police because of his links to a Hamilton-based organized crime family. Investigators are still working to determine whether that alleged connection was a factor in his death.

Thom previously said a suspect driving a silver vechile drove up Iavarone's quiet Scenic Woods street then hid in the bushes and waited for him to arrive home. As he started walking toward his house, Iavarone was shot and later pronounced dead at the scene.

Angelo Musitano (right) and Pat Musitano leaving Provincial Court for lunch in 1998. Angelo was killed in a targeted shooting outside his home last year. (Hamilton Spectator)

The killing shares some similarities with the May 2017 shooting of Angelo Musitano, a member of Hamilton's notorious Musitano crime family, who died after his truck was peppered with bullets in the driveway of his Waterdown home.

In that case, police also said Musitano was "stalked" and his family refused to cooperate with police.

Thom said the deaths of Musitano and Iavarone are the only two cases he's worked on where family members of shooting victims declined to help investigators.

"It obviously makes the investigation much harder to solve," he said, explaining loved ones can fill in basic details about who a victim was, who they spent time with and what they were doing on the night they were killed.

"Without the family it's much harder to put those pieces of the puzzle together."

Thom indicated police think it's a "possibility" the Musitano and Iavarone killings are linked and that investigators are examining "all options."

Among those options is a theory that the recent escalation in mob-related killings, bombings and arsons could be part of an ongoing, underworld power struggle. Investigators are still working to determine if that unrest is related to Iavarone's death.

Police say the shooting happened at 32 Sunflower Crescent in Ancaster. (Dan Taekema/CBC)

Stephen Metelsky, a criminology professor at Mohawk College, who spent more than two decades as a police officer specializing in organized crime, said Iavarone is believed to be connected to the Musitanos.

He added that in the criminal underworld public killings are typically used to send a message and are considered a "huge sign of disrespect."

A visitation is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon and Iavarone's funeral will be held Wednesday.