Killer lay in wait before shooting Ancaster man
Police are probing whether ties with organized crime are behind the murder of local real estate agent
A HAMILTON ENTREPRENEUR and real estate agent with associates in organized crime was shot dead as he walked into his Ancaster home in a “targeted” killing.
The killer hid in bushes and lay in wait for Albert Iavarone to return home Thursday night, Det. Sgt. Peter Thom said Friday.
The 50-year-old was shot around 9:55 p.m. as he walked from his car, which was parked outside 32 Sunflower Cres. in Ancaster’s quiet Scenic Woods neighbourhood.
Police have described the killer only as a man who drove a silver car.
“It was definitely targeted. This individual set out to accomplish a task and that task was to kill Mr. Iavarone and he obviously succeeded,” Thom said.
Iavarone’s wife and two children were in the house at the time and it was his family who made the 911 call.
When emergency services arrived, they found Iavarone at the entrance of his home with a gunshot wound to the upper body.
Despite paramedics’ efforts, he was pronounced dead at the scene.
“Mr. Iavarone had no criminal record but he is known to police as he is associated to individuals involved in traditional organized crime in the Hamilton area,” Thom said.
Neighbours expressed shock at the shooting. But Thom stressed this was a “very targeted attack” and police don’t believe there is any threat to the public. Detectives do not yet know a motive.
Thom wouldn’t specify which organized crime groups or people Iavarone was connected to or whether the connection was business or personal.
Thom is also the case manager of the investigation into the May 2, 2017 murder of Angelo Musitano, who was shot in the driveway of his Waterdown home. He said it’s “a possibility” the two murders are linked, adding detectives are “keeping all options open.”
Police believe Musitano was shot by a hit man, who was also responsible for the shooting death of a woman in York Region two months earlier.
In the latest murder, Hamilton police will once again speak with investigators in other jurisdictions to look for ties to other crimes.
In the last two years, there has been a surge in Mafia-related crimes , including murders, bombings and arsons, in the Hamilton and the Greater Toronto Area.
Just two weeks after Angelo Musitano’s murder, the St. Clair Boulevard home of his older brother, Pasquale (Pat) Musitano, was sprayed with bullets. No one was injured, but the shooting was seen as a warning shot to the reputed family crime boss.
“It’s our belief that there is something going on in the underworld, maybe a power struggle,” Thom said.
“I’m not sure that this particular case factors into that, but that’s certainly something that we’re alive to.”
In the Ancaster case, police have gathered surveillance video, including from the victim’s home. Unlike the Musitanos, Iavarone’s family has been co-operative with investigators.
So far, police know the shooter drove onto Sunflower Crescent, which is northeast of Mohawk Road West and Scenic Drive. From the south end of the street, he did a threepoint turn in front of the Iavarone home, parked and got out.
The shooter hid in the bushes “for an extended period of time” until the victim arrived, walked up and shot him. He drove away in the silver car in the same direction he’d come from.
Detectives and forensic officers searched the home Friday with police tape blocking access to it, parts of two neighbouring properties and a nearby pathway. A black Cadillac Escalade and white Mercedes-Benz, remained in the driveway of the twostorey, single-family home.
Neighbours expressed shock at the shooting. Several said they had been home or out for a walk, but none noted hearing gunshots and only realized something was wrong when they saw police.
Thom said he understands shootings raise alarm, but he stressed this was a “very targeted attack.” Police don’t believe there’s a threat to the general public.
Neighbours said the Iavarones are quiet but friendly, and could often be seen entertaining and enjoying their backyard pool. Records show the family bought the home in 2004, with its title in the name of Iavarone’s wife, Andrea Iavarone.
Albert was a real estate agent at a Royal LePage on Rymal Road East.
“We were shocked and saddened to hear the news, “Joe Ferrante, broker of record with Royal LePage State Realty, said in an email. “Our thoughts and prayers are wit h his wife and children.”
Thom said Iavarone was involved in a “bunch of entrepreneurial ventures” in addition to real estate.
Part of the work for police in the coming days will be to get a better idea of who he was.
This is the fifth homicide in Hamilton this year. Anyone with information is asked to call Det. Jason Cattle at 905-546-4167. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or crimestoppershamilton.com.
Al Iavarone, murder victim
Hamilton police probe the homicide scene at 32 Sunflower Cres. Albert Iavarone was fatally shot at the home Thursday night.
Det Sgt. Peter Thom provides details of the investigation at news conference Friday.