‘Armed and dangerous’ suspect surrenders to Toronto police in what may be Mafia-linked slaying

Police and emergency services personnel found an 87-year-old man with a single gunshot wound. Despite medical efforts to keep him alive, he died at the scene, police said

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A man considered “armed and dangerous” surrendered to Toronto police early Saturday, an hour after detectives launched a public manhunt in the slaying of an 87-year-old man, a shooting in the city’s west end that seems linked to some of the city’s long-established Mafia clans.

Domenico Scopelliti, 51, of Toronto, was publicly named as being wanted on a charge of first-degree murder.

Police surrounded a home on Playfair Ave., alerted by a 911 call at 5:08 p.m., Friday, reporting a man was shot.

Inside, police and emergency services personnel found the victim with a single gunshot wound. Despite medical efforts to save him, he died at the scene, police said.

The name of the victim was not released Friday night.

A man of the same age who has lived at the same address, however, has been known for decades as one of the city’s most senior Mafia leaders until slowed by age and a growing distaste for the modern-day underworld.

Some members of the Scopelliti family have also been investigated for organized crime involvement in the past.

Det. Steve Henkel, of the Toronto police homicide unit, said not enough information is currently known to suspect it was a mob hit.

“We’re at the preliminary stages, it’s too premature to make that comment,” Henkel said.

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Henkel declined to say whether Scopelliti was previously known to police. He did say the victim and Scopelliti knew each other.

“We believe a firearm was used. We don’t know what type of firearm was used,” he said. An official cause of death will not be released pending a post-mortem examination schedule for Saturday.

Soon after the shooting, reports said a man fled the area carrying a rifle.

Henkel said Scopelliti was believed to be driving a black, 2010 Dodge Caravan with a license plate ARVZ 950 and asked for the public’s assistance in locating him.

“He is considered armed and dangerous. If you should observe him call 911,” said Henkel.

“We’re appealing directly to Mr. Scopelliti to contact a lawyer and turn himself in peacefully.”

He appears to have done just that.

National Post

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