Man slain in front of fiancée on way to engagement party
A West Vancouver man was shot to death in front of his fiancée as he arrived at his own engagement party Saturday night, Vancouver police said yesterday.
Ricardo Francis Scarpino, 37, had just pulled up outside of Gotham steakhouse in the 600 Block of Seymour Street when two men ran across the street and fired several shots into his 2007 black Range Rover.
Scarpino and a friend, a 38-year-old West Vancouver man, were killed. Scarpino’s fiancée and another man were also in the Range Rover, but were uninjured.
"They were going to an engagement party in a private room at Gotham restaurant," said Vancouver Const. Tim Fanning. "It appears there were two men that knew they were going to the restaurant and were laying in wait."
The shooters ran back across Seymour and disappeared between buildings before police arrived. Two guns were later recovered a block away at Richards and Dunsmuir streets.
The shooting occurred at 10:15 p.m. in a busy part of Downtown Vancouver that was swollen by crowds of people who had just left the Vancouver Canucks game.
Police questioned more than 200 people and Fanning said it was fortunate that no one else was hurt.
The double homicide, the city’s first murders of 2008, was likely targeted — Scarpino was well known to police for his criminal activities.
"He’s tied to a lot of other criminals and involved in criminal activity," Fanning said. "That’s why we believe it’s a targeted attack, that he was on somebody’s list to kill."
The shooting is the most recent in a spate of gun-gang activity that included the shooting of eight people at a Chinese restaurant in August.
A 47-year-old Vancouver man, a guest at Scarpino’s engagement party, was arrested after he dropped a semi-automatic handgun as he left Gotham steakhouse. The man, who is not a suspect, will likely face weapons and cocaine-related charges.