SQ investigates Mafia shooting in Laval, second Mob hit in 24 hours
Published Friday, February 1, 2013 11:02AM EST
Last Updated Saturday, February 2, 2013 5:08PM EST
MONTREAL—The Surete du Quebec has taken over the investigation of a brazen shooting in a Laval parking lot on Friday morning, believed to be the second Mafia-related incident in 24 hours.
Tonino Callochia, 51, was gunned down just after 10 a.m. in a busy parking lot outside a restaurant on St-Martin Blvd. in the Chomedey sector of Laval. He is expected to survive.
The construction company owner has a long list of money laundering and cocaine smuggling convictions from the 90s, along with ties to the Montreal mafia. Police haven’t made a connection with a shooting 12 hours earlier in St-Leonard.
Since the return of Vito Rizzuto in late 2012, a series of mafia-related shootings have led experts to believe that a power struggle is tearing through Montreal’s underworld.
“We can’t say that today was by the Rizzuto clan or Raynald Desjardins’ clan,” said organized crime expert Maria Mourani. “It's not clear because you have people who are with the Rizzuto clan who joined the Desjardins clan. It's very confusing.”
Without a suspect or a weapon, the gunman is believed to have shot Callochia multiple times at close range and then fled the scene.
Numerous people eating a late breakfast at a nearby restaurant had a clear view of the shooting, many left the restaurant before police arrived.
"The witnesses that were inside, the majority of them left," said Laval police spokesman Frank Di Genova.
"Some stayed on the scene, and they are being met now by our detectives," said the officer shortly before noon.
On Thursday another man with drug ties, identified as Vincenzo Scuderi, was shot and killed in St-Leonard.
The 49-year-old man had ties to organized crime and was arrested in December during a crackdown on a drug trafficking ring, but otherwise had no criminal record. The police could not confirm his identity.