Reputed associate of ex-Mafia boss Vito Rizzuto killed in 'settling of accounts'

Vincenzo Spagnolo, who is believed to have had close ties to former crime boss Vito Rizzuto, was gunned down in Laval on Saturday, in what police described as a "settling of accounts."

Vincenzo Spagnolo believed to have had close ties with former Montreal Mafia head, crime expert says

Vincenzo Spagnolo was a reputed member of the Rizzuto crime family. (Radio-Canada)

A man believed to have had close ties to former crime boss Vito Rizzuto was gunned down in Laval on Saturday, in what police described as a "settling of accounts."

Vincenzo Spagnolo, 65, was killed at his home in the city's Vimont neighbourhood, sources told Radio-Canada.

Spagnolo reputedly served as Rizzuto's right-hand man when he had control over the Montreal Mafia.

Rizzuto, the longtime patriarch of the Montreal Mafia, died of natural causes in 2013.

André Cédilot, an organized crime expert, said the pair met regularly when Rizzuto ran the city's organized crime circuit.

In the early 2000s, when Rizzutto was in prison, they kept in touch by phone, Cédilot said.

Sûreté du Québec Sgt. Audrey-Anne Bilodeau said the shooting appeared to be linked to a "settling of accounts" within the Mafia.

The shooting happened in Saturday's Vimont neighbourhood. (Radio-Canada)

Laval police were called to the scene at around 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, and Quebec provincial police later took over the investigation.

A security perimeter was installed near the intersection of Arthur-Mignault and Antoine-Forestier streets.

The Rizzuto crime family, once considered one of the most powerful in Canada, has been in an extended period of upheaval.

In May, another reputed high-ranking member, Rocco Sollecito, was gunned down in Laval. 

Three months earlier, another alleged Rizzuto lieutenant, Lorenzo (Skunk) Giordano, was killed.

Leonardo Rizzuto, Vito Rizzuto's son, was arrested in organized crime raids last November.

His brother Nick Jr. and grandfather Nicolo were shot dead in separate incidents in 2010.