Arrest in Toronto's Little Italy slaying

John Raposo, 35, was shot and killed at a the Sicilian Sidewalk Cafe in Little Italy last Monday.

John Raposo, 35, was shot and killed at a the Sicilian Sidewalk Cafe in Little Italy last Monday.

Ian Robertson, QMI AGency

, Last Updated: 7:50 AM ET

TORONTO - A dark-haired man escorted from a cab surrounded by police task force officers Thursday faces charges in the execution of a Toronto father at a Little Italy cafe.

Homicide Det.-Sgt. Terry Browne announced a B.C. man carrying identification in several names was arrested mid-afternoon without incident.

His announcement at a brief press conference at 51 Division came shortly after John "Johnnie" Raposo's family concluded visitations at a funeral home.

Browne said he left a message for them after the arrest.

With the investigation ongoing, the veteran investigator told reporters he could not comment on a motive for what he earlier called a "very public, intended execution," speculation about gambling or possible organized crime ties.

Lauding local residents, business owners and the media for aiding in the "quick arrest," Browne said "this is a very extensive investigation" involving Toronto, RCMP and Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit officers, aided by York Regional Police.

He said the accused, a suspect "from the start," had several bags in the Richmond Hill cab, with several IDs in names that were withheld.

Dean Wiwchar, 26, of British Columbia, is charged with first-degree murder.

Browne said Wiwchar "has a connection to the core area of the city," but would only say he was in Toronto "for awhile."

The cab driver was led away for routine questioning and no charges were laid, Browne said.

Raposo, 35, who had a young son and pregnant girlfriend, died when shot in the head after a gunman disguised as a construction worker opened fire Monday afternoon on the Sicilian Sidewalk Cafe's patio at College St. and Montrose Ave.

The killer had long, blonde hair, but "it certainly appeared that he was wearing a wig," Browne said.

Police said no one else was shot, but an acquaintance of Raposo's was released from hospital after treatment for an undisclosed head injury.

Wiwchar's arrest came about 70 hours after the shooting sent Euro 2012 soccer fans of all ages diving for cover after watching a game on TV.

The victim lived in a recently-built west-end home with his son and pregnant girlfriend.

A former biker gang associate who sources said was fond of gambling, women and flashy cars, Raposo often stayed overnight with his mom in a house he renovated near the cafe.

Wiwchar was scheduled for a morning appearance in a College Park court.

Meanwhile, a large turnout is expected for Raposo's funeral at 9 a.m. Friday.

An official at St. Mary's Church, 588 Adelaide St., near Bathurst St., said Thursday the service is private, "for the family".

Elsewhere, the Sicilian Sidewalk Cafe remained closed as workers cleared broken glass and crockery and completed repairs.

CEO Maria Galipo said Wednesday the 53-year-old eatery will reopen "in a day or two."

 


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