Peel police would not confirm the man's identity, but Shahid Malik, a lawyer who shares the office where the shooting took place, said Musitano was there to meet with his lawyer, Joseph Irving.
"I hope Mr. Musitano is OK," Malik told CBC News. "It's very concerning, very upsetting, very unnerving."
Peel police said at a news conference that the victim was shot multiple times outside his vehicle. An SUV parked in front of Malik's office was towed from the scene Thursday morning. Officers would not say why he was there.
Hamilton mobster Pat Musitano shot in Mississauga: police source
Malik would not say what Musitano and Irving were meeting about, citing "solicitor/client privilege." The person who answered the phone at Irving's office hung up on a reporter. Subsequent calls went to voicemail.
Musitano's brother, Angelo, was gunned down in the driveway of his Waterdown, Ont., home on May 2, 2017.
\”I think the timing of it is very relevant. 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.
A Hamilton man is facing a murder charge in connection with his death. Two other suspects are wanted on Canada-wide warrants, but police believe they may have fled to Mexico.
Weeks after Angelo Musitano was killed, Pat Musitano's home on St. Clair Boulevard in Hamilton was also shot up.
Malik planned to turn his security video over to police, but said the cameras were not pointed \”in the right spot\” to catch any of the incident. He said police are \”bringing a preservation order\” that will prevent anyone from touching the video until it is seized.
Neighbours walked their dogs past the home Thursday morning. Multiple security spotlights surround the front porch.
At one point a man in a grey SUV drove up to the house, looked it over then headed for reporters standing on the other side of the street.
"F–k off," he yelled. "Don't you think they've been through enough? I'm asking you a question, don't you think this family has been through enough?"
Musitano's uncle, Tony, died last week of natural causes. His funeral was held just yesterday at Cathedral Basilica of Christ the King in Hamilton.
Antonio Nicaso, a Mafia expert who teaches courses on organized crime at Queen's University, told CBC News he wasn't at all shocked to learn that Musitano had been shot.
"Everybody thought he was a target of retaliation after the murder of his brother and the shooting in front of his house," he said.
It appeared Musitano had been living in Mississauga, Nicaso said. "He was trying to hide. He was moving from one place to another."
The list of people who could want revenge against the Musitanos is likely long. The family is linked to convictions for bombings and extortion in the 1970s, as well as the hit on mobster Domenic Racco in the 1980s, and the murders of Johnny "Pops" Papalia and one of his lieutenants, CarmenBarillaro, in 1997.
Irving recently began acting as legal counsel on behalf of a Hamilton-based company known as Havana Group Supplies Inc., which was incorporated in June 2018 and is involved in the paving and construction industries.
The brothers reached a deal and pleaded to conspiracy to commit murder in the death of Barillaro. In turn, the charges against them in connection with Papalia's death were dropped. They were sentenced to 10 years in jail, but got out in 2007, and had made little noise since then — until bullets started flying once more.
The Musitanos were once protected by an alliance with the famed Rizzuto crime family, based out of Montreal.
The investigation into Pat Musitanos shooting is being handled by Peel Regional police. Thom said, however, Hamilton police would assist in whatever way possible, including sharing intelligence if requested.
The 2013 death of reputed Mafia boss Vito Rizzuto created a power vacuum within the organization, and now warring factions have weakened the once mighty Montreal Mafia. That left the Musitanos to fend for themselves.
"There is a very critical balance," Nicaso said. "It's a very unstable condition, like Pandora's Box. Anything can happen.
Other recent mob-related deaths in Hamilton include Cece Luppino, the son of mobster Rocco Luppino, and Albert Iavarone, who police say had connections to organized crime.
It comes just a day after a funeral was held in Hamilton for Pat’s uncle and former mobster, Tony Musitano. He died of natural causes at the age of 72.
Det. Sgt. Peter Thom of Hamilton's major crime unit is the case manager for investigations into Angelo Musitano's death, along with the killings of both Iavarone and Luppino.
He said investigators believe the rash of killings are part of some kind of underworld power struggle involving factions in the Toronto and Hamilton area.
"This could potentially be part of that ongoing feud," he said of Thursday's shooting.
Thom added the attack on Musitano won't have a major impact on any ongoing Hamilton investigations, but he's willing to help Peel police given the "Hamilton flavour" of the shooting.
According to a police source, Musitano was shot in the face and transported to a Toronto-area trauma centre early Thursday.
"I'm sure we'll be hearing from them and asking for some information on our knowledge of the Musitano family and what's been going on in and around Hamilton."
Adam Carter is a Newfoundlander who now calls Hamilton home. He enjoys a good story and playing loud music in dank bars. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamCarterCBC or drop him an email at [email protected]
Investigators combed the taped-off parking lot where Musitano was shot and began collecting surveillance footage from offices and businesses in the commercial complex.
Two years after the murder of his younger brother, Hamilton mobster Pat Musitano was shot multiple times outside his lawyers Mississauga office Thursday.
It was around 7 a.m. that emergency crews were called to a parking lot of a commercial office complex. Although police have not publicly identified the victim, a lawyer in the complex said he was told it was Mr. Musitano.
Shahid Malik said Mr. Musitano was there to see his lawyer Joseph Irving (who shares an office space with Mr. Malik) when he was shot.
Its very unsettling, very unnerving, Mr. Malik said, adding that while he knew of Mr. Musitano, he had not met him personally. Mr. Irving did not answer the phone at his office Thursday and his voice mailbox was full.
As investigators combed the taped-off parking lot and began collecting surveillance footage from offices and businesses in the commercial complex, a black GMC Denali SUV in the lot was towed away by police for forensic examination. By Thursday evening, police said the victim remained in life-threatening condition.
The shooting is the latest in a string of Mafia-related violence in and around the Greater Toronto Area over the last several years – activities that have exposed Hamilton as an epicentre of organized crime.
There, the Musitano name carries great weight. In the 1990s, Pat and his younger brother Angelo were charged with first-degree murder for the deaths of Hamilton mob boss Johnny Pops Papalia and his underboss Carmen Barillaro (both of whom were shot by hit man Ken Murdock). The brothers pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder in Mr. Barillaros death. The charges relating to Mr. Papalias murder were withdrawn as part of a plea deal.
The Musitano brothers were released from prison in 2006 and managed to stay out of the limelight until Pats SUV was set on fire in his east-end Hamilton driveway in 2015.
In May, 2017, Angelo was shot and killed in the driveway of his home in suburban Waterdown, Ont., while his family waited inside.
Police have charged one man in Angelos murder and warrants are out for two others who are believed to have fled to Mexico. Police have said these three are believed to have been hired hit men and they are still investigating who ordered the killing.
A recent cross-border Mafia takedown led by the RCMP, known as Project OPhoenix, provided a glimpse into the current state of the underworld. According to court documents filed in that case, a member of a rival Hamilton-based crime family was speaking with a police agent about Angelo Musitanos murder in September, 2017.
When the police agent expressed surprise that Pat hadnt been killed first, Domenico Violi, 52 – a local hardwood floor and pasta salesman who had also recently been made underboss of Buffalos Todaro crime family – mused that it was a message to Pat and noted that Pat was now in hiding. Mr. Violi told the agent that he was told that Pat would be gone before Christmas and that that would be one headache out of the way.
Antonio Nicaso, a Canadian author and expert on organized crime, said this latest shooting is yet another sign of the continuing power struggle that has plagued the Ontario and Quebec underworld since the death of Montreal Mafia boss Vito Rizzuto in 2013. The Musitano family were allies of the Rizzutos.
When the Rizzutos were in power the Musitanos … were on the right side of the power, Mr. Nicaso said. But since the death of Mr. Rizzuto, they have lost that protection. Until the void left by Mr. Rizzuto is filled, Mr. Nicaso says there will be always violence.