Musitano shot at close range in ‘calculated’ hit //
Police believe sedan linked to killing seen earlier in neighbourhood
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