Cops hope video helps solve hitman's murder

Salvatore 'Sam' Calautti

Salvatore 'Sam' Calautti

Chris Doucette, Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 12:30 PM ET

TORONTO - It’s been a year since two men were gunned down outside a Vaughan banquet hall and investigators have now released new video hoping tipsters will step forward and help them track down the killers.

York Regional Police say the surveillance video footage depicts a vehicle of interest in the murders of Salvatore Calautti, 41, and James Tusek, 35 — two Toronto men who were executed at the Terrace Banquet Hall near Creditstone and Rutherford Rds. on July 12, 2013.

“Investigators are appealing to the public for assistance in identifying who the driver or occupants of the vehicle were,” police said in a statement released Friday.

Calautti, a known hitman who was well-connected to the Calabrian mob, and Tusek, whose ties to the organized crime world are fuzzy, were shot to death around 1 a.m. in the parking lot of the banquet hall where upwards of 500 people had attended a private party.

Over the last 12 months, police say Homicide detectives have interviewed numerous witnesses who attended the party that fateful night and “provided information useful to this investigation.”

Investigators have also reviewed surveillance video and identified a white van that drove by the crime scene at the time of the shooting.

Police have now released the footage of that vehicle and are appealing for anyone who recognizes the van to come forward.

Calautti, a mob hitman and debt collector who was involved in the drug trade, had been tied officially to at least two murders and four attempted murders over 17 years but was never convicted in those crimes.

Tusek was one of three men charged with attempted murder and other offences in 1997 for the brutal stabbing of a manager of a Just Desserts in Scarborough. He was also among eight people charged in a $16-million marijuana grow-op bust in Niagara in 2008.

Anyone with information regarding the double slaying or the suspect vehicle should call the Homicide Unit at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 7865, or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).


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