Musitano Shooting Part Of Ongoing Mob Violence In Canada

"Found religion? Maybe. But it doesn't erase the past, if he did."
--Canadian Mafia expert James Dubro on Pat Musitano's alleged religious transformation

The boss of a Calabrian crime family in Hamilton, a Canadian port city about 41 miles west of Niagara Falls, was shot multiple times on Thursday morning and remains in critical condition.

Peel Regional police on Thursday investigate the Musitano shooting.
Peel Regional police on Thursday investigate the Musitano shooting.

Pasquale (Pat) Musitano is still clinging to life at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto where he was brought Thursday morning. He was reportedly shot at least four times, including once in the head, at around 7 a.m. Thursday.

A witness described the shooting as "very unsettling and terrifying. And quite brazen in broad daylight."

The Hamilton Spectator broke the identity of the victim; law enforcement remains tight-lipped about the incident, neither naming or confirming the name of the victim

Mafia violence in Hamilton and surrounding areas has been ongoing in recent years. A series of shootings, arson fires, murders, and attempted murders have occurred and are allegedly part of an underworld shakeup in the region. Historically organized crime in Hamilton was dominated by three traditional mob families — the Papalias, Musitanos and Luppinos, each of which originated in Calabria in Southern Italy, home to the dreaded 'Ndrangheta.

Angelo and Pat Musitano gained special notoriety for forming an alliance with Montreal Cosa Nostra boss Vito Rizzuto to take out Hamilton boss John (Johnny Pops) Papalia in 1997. Papalia lieutenant Carmen Barillaro also was gunned down in July 1997 at his Niagara Falls home. Another Papalia loyalist had been gunned down prior, in 1996. Enio (Pegleg) Mora was shot in the head four times at his farm. Giacinto Arcuri was arrested and charged with Mora's murder, but was acquitted for lack of evidence.

The Musitano brothers were charged with the Papalia shooting and struck a deal; they pleaded guilty to conspiracy to murder Barillaro only and served two-thirds of their 10-year sentences and were released in October 2006.

As per reports: hours after the shooting on Thursday, a black Denali was still parked outside the law office and was towed away around noon. Next to the Denali's flat rear driver's side tire was a large pool of blood that police were seen covering with paper.

Around six police vehicles were spotted at the scene, including a forensics van. (The vehicles were part of the Peel Regional Police.) Forensics officers were spotted searching a nearby dumpster and putting yellow tape up.

As per The Spectator, there is "no information at this time with regards to suspects."

That morning Musitano had met with his lawyer, Joseph Irving.

"He had the meeting and he left," another lawyer with an office in the same building said. "Mr. Irving walked him to the door and said 'Bye-bye. Ciao-ciao.' And then something happened in the parking lot."

Police said a "passerby" called 911 to report the shooting.

Irving recently became the legal counsel for Hamilton-based Havana Group Supplies Inc., a paving and construction outfit. Musitano reportedly had assumed a minority shareholder position at the company and allegedly was pocketing under-the-table payments.

 Havana recently had been having legal problems over its alleged non-payment of truck drivers who dumped trash at a particular landfill, the Spectator reported

Whether Musitano's shooting was linked to Havana 's problems is not known. Experts closely following events  believe the shooting is linked to a string of mob violence in the region that claimed his brothers life.

Musitano's younger brother, Angelo Musitano, was shot in his driveway outside Hamilton on May 2, 2017. He had been approached while sitting in his vehicle and was shot repeatedly. One man has been arrested in the scheme to kill Angelo that had been months in the planning. The true "masterminds" behind the hits, however, remain unidentified.

Weeks later, Pat’s home was repeatedly shot at in the middle of the night.

Anthony Musitano, Pat’s uncle, once a major player in organized crime, died this month of natural causes at 72. Pat, who reportedly didn't attend the services, was allegedly keeping a low profile.

Pat is considered to have been the last Musitano standing.

"People in the underworld know Pat is literally the remnants of the Musitano crime family," says Stephen Metelsky, a criminology professor at Mohawk College who spent 21 years with Halton police, including specializing in organized crime.

"Given all the extenuating circumstances leading up to this, not just his brother's death, but his house being targeted twice, his uncle passing away ... I think that just opened up a ripe opportunity to speed up whatever plans were underway to make a power play into Hamilton."

For most of the 20th century, the Mafia in Hamilton and the Greater GTA was affiliated with the Buffalo crime family. Longtime boss Stefano Magaddino oversaw the group through his top representative in Hamilton, Giacomo Luppino, a highly respected Don who was known to carry the severed ear of an enemy around with him. A descendant of Luppino's was assassinated this year in a hit that's considered part of the string of recent shootings.

The Montreal Mafia, which in time was dominated by members of the Sicilian Cosa Nostra, specifically Nick Rizzuto, was affiliated with New York 's Bonanno family.

Mila Barberi
 Mila Barberi, an innocent bystander, was slain by accident.

Pat Musitano inherited control of the family business when his father, Dominic Musitano, died in 1995.

The brothers kept a low profile before Angelo's murder, with the only Musitano headline happening when Pat's SUV was torched in his driveway in September 2015.

Police linked Angelo Musitano's murder to a botched hit in Vaughan two months prior.

On March 14, 2017, 28-year-old Mila Barberi, an innocent bystander, was fatally shot inside a vehicle where she was sitting with her boyfriend, who was part of a family with organized crime ties. Her boyfriend, Saverio Serrano, survived. He was believed to have been the true intended target of the shooting.

Police have identified three people facing charges of first-degree murder and attempted murder in those shootings. The only man in custody, Jabril Abdalla, is seeking bail. His co-accused, Michael Graham Cudmore of Hamilton (the alleged gunman), and Daniel Mario Tomassetti of Ancaster, fled to Mexico and are wanted on international warrants.

Other recent Mafia-connected murders include the shooting deaths of Albert Iavarone and Cece Luppino.

Investigators believe the shootings and murders are part of some sort of "ongoing feud in the GTA," Thom said.

"One of our theories is that there is some retaliation going back and forth between the various crime families," he said. "But who is orchestrating and calling the shots? That question is up in the air."

The investigation into Pat Musitano's shooting is being handled by Peel Regional police.

MARCH 14, 2017: Veterinary technician Mila Barberi, 28, is shot to death in Vaughan. Her boyfriend Saverio Serrano was believed to be the real target. He survived.

MAY 2, 2017: Angelo Musitano is shot to death in his pickup truck by a waiting gunman.

JUNE 26, 2017: Pat Musitano’s Hamilton home is shot at.

JAN. 23, 2018: Cops announce that Barberi and Musitano murders are linked.

SEPT. 13, 2018: Hamilton real estate broker Albert ‘Al’Iavarone, 50, is shot to death in the driveway of his Ancaster home. Iavarone knew two of the hitters in the Angelo Musitano hit.

SEPT. 19, 2018: Police arrest Jabril Hassan Abdalla, 27, and charge him with first-degree murder.

SEPT. 20, 2018: Cops name Abdalla and announce arrest warrants have been issued for Michael Cudmore, 37, and Daniel Mario Tomassetti, 27.

JAN. 30, 2019: Cece Luppino — son of underworld figure Rocco Luppino — is shot to death in front of his parents’ Hamilton home. He had no criminal record and was not involved in the family business.

APRIL 25, 2019: Pat Musitano, 49, is shot multiple times outside his lawyer’s Mississauga office.