The widow of a man shot six times because of a mistake made in the person deplores the “cowardice” of criminals who shoot wrongly and through her, she who still suffers the consequences of that heinous act, six years later.
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“How many people will have to die to get the message that guns are dangerous? The only reason people get them is to hurt themselves. You really have to be a coward to kill with a firearm”, flagella Lina Simone.
QMI Photo Agency, Maxime Deland
On June 2, 2016, the 72-year-old was riddled with bullets while at a cafe he loved on Fleury Street in Montreal’s Ahunsic district.
On June 2, 2016, her husband, Angelo D’Onofrio, was installed peacefully reading his newspaper in an Italian cafe where he used to live, on rue Fleury in the Ahuntsic district of Montreal.
At around 3:30 pm, a man walked in and shot him. Six bullets hit D’Onofrio, 72, who died instantly.
However, it was not Angelo D’Onofrio the real target, but Antonio Vanelli, an individual linked to Italian organized crime.
- Listen to Vincent Dessureault at Mario Dumont’s microphone on QUB radio:
outbreak of violence
Lina Simone would have liked the gratuitous murder of her “Lino” to teach criminals a lesson. However, in the past two years, the Montreal metro area has been rocked by an outbreak of gun violence, she laments.
“Other innocent lives can be taken. Those who want to use guns must understand that one day it could be their child, their mother, who falls under the bullets. It is worth it? No!” she insisted.
“I lost my father to health problems. It’s sad, but we accept it, it’s part of life to see people die naturally. But Lino, they took his life. If the person is knowingly killed, it is not forgivable,” he added.
Therefore, it is urgent to eliminate firearms from circulation, he believes.
“I will be the first to march through every street in Montreal to end gun violence,” she said.
In solution mode, the widow still raises the idea that the authorities offer US$500 for each gun turned over to the police and US$1,000 to report the person who sold it.
Despite the passing years, she struggles to find the words to express her thoughts regarding this absurd tragedy. Her words are punctuated by long silences, sometimes sobs.
“I live in a basement, I’m on medication, I can’t work anymore because I can’t take the stress anymore, I can’t stand people talking loudly, I can’t stand the noise of cars on the street. It makes no sense what is happening to me,” she said. .
But despite her personal situation, she refuses to be portrayed as a victim.
“I am not the victim! It’s Lino, the victim. He was innocent and today he is no longer there,” she said.
The lengthy court proceedings, which have lasted since 2017, prevent him from turning the page. A year after Angelo D’Onofrio’s murder, two individuals were arrested and later charged with premeditated murder.
They have since been found guilty: Jeff Joubens Theus of first-degree murder and Ebamba Ndutu Lufiau of manslaughter. But the Court of Appeal recently ruled that they should face another trial (to see text below).
“No matter the outcome of the trial, Lino will never be back with me. We will never be a ‘we’ again, I miss being a ‘we’”, Simone said.
A trial that starts from scratch due to errors in law
Six years after an innocent victim was shot to death in a cafe, the trial of the two alleged killers must be retrial, the Court of Appeal recently ordered.
“I hope this trial will lead to fewer guns, less violence. That way, I will at least have the satisfaction of seeing that the lessons have been learned”, launched Lina Simone, the widow of Angelo D’Onofrio, who was mistakenly killed in June 2016.
In March 2019, Jeff Joubens Theus and Ebamba Ndutu Lufiau were tried by the jury for premeditated murder.
The first would have fired, while the second would have driven the vehicle allowing them to escape, according to the theory of the Crown detailed in the judgment of the Court of Appeal.
In addition to attending nearly every court case, Lina Simone meticulously wrote down every detail of the trial in three notebooks that she carefully keeps in a home library.
“I live for it”
Through her writings describing the number of bullets that hit her Lino, the testimonies of witnesses and experts or the various arguments between the parties are mixed with scribbles testifying to the many hours she spent in a Montreal courtroom chair.
“I used to go there every day by subway. I had to, I represent Lino. I owed him that. He needs justice,” insisted M.me Simone.
The Court of Appeals recently overturned Theus and Lufiau’s premeditated murder and manslaughter verdicts due to errors of law, and both will face retrial.
And the widow guarantees that she will be there again.
“I’m going to keep following everything, I’m not going to waste a second, I live for it,” she said.
-With the collaboration of Nicolas Brasseur, Office of Investigation and Michaël Nguyen