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Suspect in Oshawa, Ont., killings was largely shut out of father's will at time of shootings, documents show

Mitch Lapa, the man suspected of wounding his sister, fatally shooting her husband and three of their kids inside their Oshawa, Ont., home last week, was all but left out of his father’s will, according to court documents obtained by CBC News.

Police say Mitch Lapa wounded his sister, killed her husband and 3 of their kids

Loretta Traynor, left, is still recovering after being shot in her Oshawa, Ont., home last week. Her husband, Chris Traynor, right, was killed as were three of their four children. (Twitter and Facebook)

The man suspected of wounding his sister, fatally shooting her husband and three of their kids inside their Oshawa, Ont., home last week, was all but left out of his father's will, according to court documents obtained by CBC News.

Instead, Mitch Lapa's sister Loretta Traynor and her children were the beneficiaries of almost all of her late father's estate. 

Police say Lapa, 48, was an "uninvited person" when he drove from his home in Winnipeg to target Traynor and her family.

Traynor was wounded and is still recovering. Her husband Christopher Traynor, 50, and three of their four children were killed. 

Durham Regional Police have identified the children as Bradley Traynor, 20, Adelaide Traynor, 15, and 11-year-old Joseph Traynor. The couple's fourth child, Sam, was not in the home at the time.

Police say after shooting his sister's family, Lapa fatally shot himself.

Siblings, from left, Joseph Traynor, Adelaide Traynor and Bradley Traynor were killed along with their father. (Twitter and Facebook)

Sister inherited cottage

Before his death in 2019, Matthew Lapa made it clear in his will that his son Mitch would not receive much of his wealth. 

The will was signed on Sept. 25, 2015. It makes no mention of why his son wouldn't benefit the way his daughter would.

In April 2018, Matthew transferred sole ownership of his North Kawartha, Ont., cottage to Loretta, according to land registry documents. 

After he died in January 2019, his will also stated she and her four children would receive the proceeds of the sale of his Oshawa home. It sold in March 2020 for approximately $430,000.

She was also entitled to other financial assets under the estate.

As for Mitch, the will stated he would receive only $30,000. It also indicated that if he tried to challenge the will, he would be cut out entirely.

Police won't say if the will may have sparked tensions between Mitch and Loretta, or if it might have been a motive for the homicides.

A spokesperson for the Durham Regional Police Service says investigators are aware of the information, but do not divulge motives in active homicide investigations.   

"We'll follow up on any lead or information," Dave Selby told CBC News. "We are looking at everything." 

In the days after the shooting, many in the Oshawa community mourned those who were killed.

WATCH | Here's what one memorial looked like:

Makeshift memorial grows for Oshawa family members killed in shooting

1 year ago
Duration 4:15
CBC reporter Angelina King provides an update on an apparent murder-suicide in Oshawa. Four members of one family were killed. Police allege that the lone shooter was a relative. The family was well liked and respected in the community. 4:15

On Thursday, the Traynor family issued a statement via police thanking the community and asking for privacy as they continue to grieve and recover.

"The entire Traynor family would like to state how profoundly grateful we are for all the kind messages of condolence and support this past week, as well as for the tributes at the house and the schools," the letter states.

'None of us were surprised'

Most recently, Mitch Lapa had been living in Winnipeg where he worked for a property management company. Prior to that he spent several years driving a bus in Fort McMurray, Alta.

Some people that grew up with him say they immediately suspected he was involved when word of the killings spread.

Samantha Campbell knew Lapa when he was a student at Oshawa's O'Neill Collegiate and Vocational Institute.

Police say Mitch Lapa, Loretta's brother, seen here in an undated photo from high school, shot the family then killed himself. (Name withheld by request)

"None of us were surprised he could have done this," she told CBC News.

She said Lapa was intelligent but abusive. 

She described how Lapa once invited people over to the family home for a party, then shot fireworks at them later that night.

"I saw all this red smoke. He just said, 'Thanks for coming, everybody,'" she recounted. 

A young woman at the party was badly burned as a result, she said.

She said Lapa was a "disgusting person" who often bullied or victimized others violently.

"He started getting creepy and weird," she said.

Campbell said her biggest concern now is for his sister. 

"Everybody we know keeps thinking about her and how she's going to get through this," she said.

Another former high school friend, Ted Minett, said Lapa was arrested as a teen for carrying a gun while walking down an Oshawa street.

It's unclear if charges were laid or what the outcome of that incident was.

"He was manipulative and struck fear into people," Minett said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John Lancaster

Senior Reporter, CBC Toronto

John Lancaster is a senior reporter with CBC News focusing on investigative and enterprise journalism. His stories have taken him across Canada, the US and the Caribbean. His reports have appeared on CBC Toronto, The National, CBC's Marketplace, The Fifth Estate-and of course CBC online and radio. Drop him a line anytime at john.lancaster@cbc.ca.

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