Rocco Sollecito, a high-ranking member of the embattled Rizzuto organized crime family in Montreal, was killed Friday on the streets of the Quebec city of Laval, according to local media reports.
Police said the 67-year-old Sollecito was shot while driving his SUV in a neighborhood of new condos in Laval, just north of Montreal, Radio-Canada reports.
Witnesses said the gunman was concealed in a bus shelter next to the vehicle, the CBC reported.
Laval police spokesman Franco Di Genova would not confirm the identify of the victim, but said, “It’s not complicated. It’s a mob hit,” according to the CBC.
The investigation was taken over immediately by the Sûreté du Québec, the provincial police department, which handles organized crime cases.
Witnesses say shooter was in bus shelter next to SUV pic.twitter.com/oZsKdGpofU
— Steve Rukavina, CBC (@Steverukavina) May 27, 2016
Sollecito’s ties to organized crime were spelled out in a Royal Canadian Mounted Police investigation into the mafia known as Project Colisée. The investigation, using a bugged office, recorded organized crime figures — including Sollecito — discussing their drug, loansharking and gambling activities, the Montreal Gazette reported.
The investigation led to the arrest of Nicolo Rizzuto, the patriarch of the crime family, and 90 other underbosses and associates.
Sollecito’s influence increased as pressure mounted on the existing family structure. In 2010, the 86-year-old Nicolo Rizzuto was fatally shot by a sniper in his Montreal mansion while having dinner with his family, Global News reported.
His son, Vito, who served 8 years in prison in the U.S. for involvement in mob killings in New York, died of natural causes in 2013. Vito’s son, Nick Jr., was killed in Montreal in 2009.
Sollecito’s son, Stefano, is alleged to be the current head of the Montreal mafia along with the late Vito Rizzuto’s other son, Leonardo. Both were arrested in November in a major raid on 46 reputed crime figures. They face charges of committing an offense for a criminal organization and drug trafficking, according to the CBC.