Musi­tano shot at close range in ‘cal­cu­lated’ hit //

Po­lice believe sedan linked to killing seen ear­lier in neigh­bour­hood

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - SU­SAN CLAIRMONT Su­san Clairmont’s com­men­tary ap­pears reg­u­larly in The Spec­ta­tor. sclair­mont@thes­pec.com 905-526-3539 | @su­san­clair­mont

Mob­ster Ang Musi­tano was parked in his own Wa­ter­down driveway with his wife and chil­dren inside the house when a man walked up to him and shot him mul­ti­ple times at close range.

He was pro­nounced dead 40 min­utes later at Hamil­ton Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal.

It was not a drive-by shoot­ing, says Det. Sgt. Peter Thom of the Hamil­ton po­lice homi­cide unit, dis­pelling some ear­lier de­scrip­tions of the hit.

“It was a very spe­cific, cal­cu­lated, close-up shoot­ing where the male (shooter) has been ob­served ex­it­ing a ve­hi­cle, walk­ing up or run­ning up to the side of the truck and fir­ing at close range at Mr. Musi­tano.”

The shooter then ran back to his four-door, dark sedan and drove off, says Thom.

That sedan may have been in the neigh­bour­hood in days lead­ing up to Tues­day afternoon’s shoot­ing.

“It’s been seen here a cou­ple of times on the street, we believe,” says Thom.

Se­cu­rity video at the Musi­tano home on Ch­e­sa­peake Drive has been seized by po­lice and in­ves­ti­ga­tors are talk­ing with other home­own­ers on the quiet, sub­ur­ban street in the hopes of find­ing more video, which “can of­ten be your best wit­ness,” says Thom. There were also eye wit­nesses to the 4 p.m. shoot­ing, he says.

The shooter is de­scribed as a heavy-set man, about 230 pounds, wear­ing a black tuque and a black jacket with grey pants and black shoes.

Ang, who was to cel­e­brate his 40th birth­day on Sun­day, was married with three young boys.

In 1997, when he was barely more than a kid him­self, at age 21, he was charged with two counts of first-de­gree mur­der for al­legedly or­der­ing a hit on Hamil­ton crime boss Johnny “Pops” Pa­palia, and on his Ni­a­gara Falls lieu­tenant Car­men Bar­il­laro.

Ang’s older brother, Pat Musi­tano, was also charged.

Each sib­ling even­tu­ally struck a deal, plead­ing to the lesser charge of con­spir­acy to com­mit mur­der for the shoot­ing of Bar­il­laro.

The brothers were sen­tenced to 10 years, served six and were re­leased in 2006.

Since then, they have kept a low pro­file.

Thom says he is un­aware of po­lice ever be­ing called to Ang’s home in Wa­ter­down and “he has not sur­faced in any po­lice re­ports” in re­cent years.

Thom says po­lice have been in con­tact with other Musi­tano fam­ily mem­bers since Ang was mur­dered and “they haven’t re­quested any spe­cial po­lice in­ter­est.”

Asked if the fam­ily has been co­op­er­a­tive with po­lice, Thom said, “They have been some­what co-op­er­a­tive, yes.”

Thom says de­tec­tives have “a num­ber of work­ing the­o­ries” on what led to the shoot­ing.

There are no search war­rants or ar­rest war­rants re­lated to the case so far.

The shoot­ing has all the hall­marks of a mob hit, de­spite in­di­ca­tions that Ang had left his crim­i­nal life be­hind him. Could this be ret­ri­bu­tion for the mur­ders of 20 years ago?

“In the un­der­world, what goes around comes around,” says Antonio Ni­caso, who has writ­ten more than 30 books on or­ga­nized crime and teaches a course on it at Queen’s Univer­sity.

He says he has no inside in­for­ma­tion about what led to Ang’s mur­der, but he wouldn’t rule out the pos­si­bil­ity it is linked to the Pa­palia and Bar­il­laro mur­ders.

“In the Mafia, re­venge doesn’t have a statute of lim­i­ta­tions.”

Any­one with in­for­ma­tion is asked to con­tact Det. Jason Cat­tle at 905-546-4167 or Crime Stop­pers at 1-800-222-8477.

Hamil­ton po­lice Det. Peter Thom

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