The grandfather of Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Victor Mete was among those killed in a mass shooting in Vaughan, Ont. on Sunday.
The NHL club said in a statement Tuesday that 79-year-old Vittorio Panza, one of five people killed by a shooter armed with a semi-automatic handgun at a highrise condo building, was Mete’s maternal grandfather.
Panza’s partner, Rita Camilleri, 57, was also killed.
According to a tribute written by family members, Panza, an Italian immigrant, was passionate about music. He was a husband, a father to three daughters, and a proud ‘nono’ to seven grandchildren.
Mete signed a one-year deal with Toronto in July after six seasons split between the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators. The 24-year-old has played 11 games with the Leafs this season.
“The Toronto Maple Leafs are shocked and saddened by the tragic shooting that took place in Vaughan this past Sunday,” the team said. “Our hearts go out to Victor and his family, to all the families and friends of those affected, and to the local community.”