Hamilton

Notorious Hamilton mobster Pat Musitano gunned down in Burlington, Ont.: police

Sources familiar with the family tell CBC News that the man killed in a shooting Friday afternoon in Burlington, Ont., is notorious Hamilton mobster Pat Musitano.

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Angelo Musitano, right, and his brother Pat Musitano leave court in 1998. Pat was killed in a shooting on Friday in Burlington, Ont. Angelo was killed in a targeted shooting outside his home in 2017. (Hamilton Spectator)

Notorious Hamilton mobster Pat Musitano, head of the Musitano crime family, died in a Friday afternoon shooting in Burlington, Ont., police say.

Halton Region police say they responded to reports of a shooting at about 1:10 p.m. at 484 Plains Rd. E., the site of a small business plaza. The shooting took place in front of Pro Patio Furniture.

When police arrived, they said in a news release, they found "two victims with gunshot wounds."

"One victim in this shooting has succumbed to their injuries," police said in a tweet Friday afternoon. "A second victim has been transported to hospital. Suspect(s) remain outstanding at this time."

Police have since confirmed the victim who died is 52-year-old Musitano.

The Burlington shooting took place at 1:10 p.m. on Friday. Officers say there are two victims and one has died. (Bobby Hristova/CBC)

Const. Steve Elms of the Halton Regional Police Service, west of Toronto, told CBC News that the suspect reportedly fled westbound on Plains Road East in a grey sedan.

The licence plate of one of the vehicles at the scene, a black GMC Denali, matches the plate of a black GMC Denali found outside the office of a lawyer near where Musitano was shot in 2019.

Police say people in the area should expect a "heavy police presence throughout the afternoon and into the evening," but they don't believe there is an active threat to public safety. Roughly a dozen police vehicles lined the street and parking lot near the shooting. Dozens more officers were on the scene.

Plains Road East is closed in both directions between King Road and Waterdown Road.

Ahmed Shaarwar works at the Shoppers Drug Mart across the street from the shooting. He said he didn't see the shooting take place, but it is still a shock.

"I'm surprised. Usually we don't see such stark things,"  Shaarwar told CBC News.

"I'm scared, of course, especially for my kids as well. Any innocent bystander can get wounded."

He said the fact that an infamous Mob boss was killed makes it "even stranger."

Ahmed Shaarwar works across the street from the crime scene. He said the area is normally safe and quiet. Now he fears his own family may get hurt. (Bobby Hristova/CBC)

Darcy and Andrew Briand, who stopped by the store to buy snacks, said they'll be thinking about the fatal shooting on their walk home, which is just down the street.

"You see it on TV and stuff, but you never really see it in person," Darcy said.

"I've never seen anything like this before."

Angelo Musitano shot to death in 2017

Musitano's brother, Angelo, was shot to death in front of his Waterdown, Ont., home in May 2017.

Weeks later, Pat Musitano's home on St. Clair Boulevard in Hamilton was also shot up.

The Musitano family is linked to convictions for bombings and extortion in the 1970s, as well as the hit on mobster Domenic Racco in the 1980s, and the murders of Johnny "Pops" Papalia and one of his lieutenants, Carmen Barillaro, in 1997.

Halton Regional Police say one person is dead and another is fighting for their life in hospital after a shooting in Aldershot, a neighbourhood in Burlington, Ont., Friday afternoon. (Bobby Hristova/CBC)

The Musitano brothers reached a deal and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder in the death of Barillaro. In turn, the charges against them in connection with Papalia's death were dropped. They were sentenced to 10 years in prison but were released in 2007, and had made little noise since then — until bullets started flying once more.

The Musitanos were once protected by an alliance with the famed Rizzuto crime family, based out of Montreal. 

The 2013 death of reputed Mafia boss Vito Rizzuto created a power vacuum within the organization, and now warring factions have weakened the once mighty Montreal Mafia. That left the Musitanos to fend for themselves.

With files from Dan Taekema, Samantha Craggs and Adam Carter

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