MONTREAL — Gunmen in Montreal targeted two men with suspected Mafia ties in separate shootings that occurred less than 24 hours apart.
One is dead and the other is in critical condition in hospital.
The men were allegedly on opposite sides of what's increasingly looking like a war between rival Italian Mafia factions.
Vincenzo Scuderi, 49, was shot dead Thursday night outside his home in Montreal's north end and Tony Callochia, 51, was shot several times Friday morning outside a restaurant just north of the city.
Police haven't confirmed the names of the men who were shot.
Callochia, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2008 for cocaine trafficking, has alleged ties to Vincenzo Armeni, who is currently in prison, also for cocaine trafficking. Police say Armeni is tied to the Rizzuto crime family in Montreal.
Scuderi was killed outside his home in St. Leonard, the historic centre of Montreal's Italian community.
He was reportedly connected to Raynald Desjardins, a major player in Montreal's organized crime circles who was once close to Mob boss Vito Rizzuto.
Scuderi was the second close associate of Desjardins killed in the past several weeks; Gaetan Gosselin, 69, was killed on the street in Montreal on Jan 22.
The current relationship between Desjardins and Rizzuto is unclear. Mafia experts and sources tell QMI Agency that the once-close relationship between the two men is likely over. Desjardins is currently awaiting trial for the murder of Salvatore Montagna, the former head of New York's Bonanno crime family. Montagna's body was pulled from a river north of Montreal at the end of 2011.
As the violence in Montreal continues among men associated with the Mafia, the head of the city's police force told QMI Agency that once-separate factions are uniting.
Marc Parent said members of the Italian Mafia, the Hells Angels, as well as street gangs are working together to make money.
He said the return of Rizzuto from a U.S. prison in October has spurred organized crime members to "establish their territory."
This new partition of the city has been bloody. It is still unclear how the alleged union between the city's crime circles and the latest violence is connected, if at all.