At first glance, it looked like nothing had changed at Naples Pizzeria on St-Denis St. on Wednesday afternoon.
A closer look inside the Latin Quarter restaurant reveals a discarded drink on a table near the kitchen and a small body on the floor near the front of Diego Fiorita, 50, who was gunned down 24 hours ago in broad daylight in the upper body. A blood splatter was seen.
The owner, Vincenzo Montuori, said he was working behind the scenes on Tuesday when his granddaughter rushed in frantically and screamed that someone had been killed.
“I recognized him later — he was on the floor… Diego?” Montuoli said of his interaction with his granddaughter.
“He used to come two or three times a week,” Montuoli said. “I knew him very well. … What does he do? It doesn’t matter.”
Fiorita was one of two victims in a separate shooting Tuesday afternoon under investigation by Montreal police.
A second victim was shot shortly after noon in the parking lot of the Rockland Shopping Center in the town of Mount Royal and pronounced dead in hospital. He was identified as Maxim Lenoir, 44, who was involved in organized crime in Montreal, including his gang of bikers and the Mafia.
Anais Gonzalez, who was taking a coffee break at the end of the parking lot where Lenore was killed on Wednesday, said he feels such murders are still relatively rare, but authorities acted quickly to stop them. said there was a need. tide.
“They feel they should do something now or it will be like my country has become Mexico,” she said. “That’s why I live here now for peace, and it’s crazy to imagine something like this happening near my job. …
“I think it’s important for the city to track deep where the problem is and try to find these people. If they feel the power, Canada will be lost.”
Mohamed Habashy usually hits the Nautilus Gym at the Rockland Center to work out at the same time Lenore is shot, but luckily Tuesday was too busy for him. Lenoir’s murder was his second incident in less than a month to occur near Havashy — André Lemieux was murdered near his home on August 2nd. – Laurent.
“It’s pretty scary because I never thought something like that would happen near me,” Havashy said. “It’s getting worse. We’re getting it more and more.”
With so many of Montreal’s murders linked to street gangs, Havashy said more investment in community services and extracurricular activities is needed to steer young people in the right direction.
“I’ve lived here since 2009 and it’s never been this bad.”
Fiorita is scheduled to appear in court in Montreal on Wednesday, where he was charged with making threats and conveying information he knew to be false.
His attorney said the case was postponed to a later date so he could file a death certificate in court and close the file.
In 2016, he was indicted on charges of threatening a participant in the justice system or a journalist. became.
Fiorita survived an earlier attempt on his life in broad daylight on the morning of January 3, 2020. Fiorita was outside and near her home in Boulevard Alderic in the Ahansic Quartierville borough. vehicles nearby. Fiorita was not injured in the shooting, and his vehicle slowed down before his arrest.
On Wednesday afternoon, police said they had found the vehicle on Canora Street. and Franklin Avenue match the description of the getaway car at the TMR shooting. Other than that, we had no updates on either case, and we weren’t sure if there was a connection between the two shootings.
Hours before Fiorita was shot, he posted a video on Facebook emphasizing the importance of enjoying life.
“I love life. It’s so nice, so beautiful, so much fun,” he said, sipping his morning coffee on the rain-sheltered terrace of Caffeine Gamba on Parc Avenue. “You have to appreciate moments like this.”
He added: In the meantime, I continue to benefit from life and wish you a wonderful day. ”
Montuori said Fiorita often worked on her computer when she visited restaurants, but didn’t know what she did for a living.
“I don’t know what you’re doing, your personal stuff,” he said. Many people come here. For 52 years I have been here. ”
The owner of the pub L’Ile Noir, just outside the Naples Pizzeria, said Wednesday that he was not working when the shooting took place, but that it did not affect his sense of safety in the area.
“Listen, it’s happening all over Montreal right now,” said Johanne Hebert, noting that the shooting looked like a hit rather than a random act of violence.
Prime Minister François Legault said on Twitter after meeting with Public Safety Minister Geneviève Guilbeau and Montreal mayor Valerie Plante after the killing, “I will not allow Montreal to become a gang shooting range.”
“I will not skimp on measures to restore order and protect the public,” he wrote. “We support the police to put an end to this violence.”
At an afternoon press conference, Plante said the killings did not represent the true face of Montreal. He outlined plans to strengthen public security in the city, including hiring additional social workers and contributing to prevention projects in collaboration with schools and community organizations.
Pub owner Hébert mentioned seeing a video posted online by Fiorita, pointing out its unique timing.
“It was kind of an omen. I said, ‘Man, it looks like you’ve got a day ready to go,'” she said. “It was strange.”
Paul Cherry and René Bruemmer of the Montreal Gazette contributed to this report.
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