MONTREAL – The bells of an Italian Renaissance-style church in Montreal chimed softly Saturday as pallbearers carried the gold coffin of the son of the reputed head of Canada's most powerful Mafia family.
There was a heavy police presence in the city's Little Italy neighborhood at the funeral service for Nick Rizzuto, the son of Montreal Mafia boss Vito Rizzuto.
Nick was standing next to a black Mercedes last Monday when a gunman approached and fired several shots, killing him. Police have not yet arrested the unidentified gunman.
Most of the mourners at Notre-Dame-de-la Defense church remained tightlipped as they filed out of the church, refusing to speak to reporters assembled outside.
Family friend Ricardo Padulo recalled the younger Rizzuto as "a gentleman."
"This turnout shows respect," Padulo said. "In the eye of God he's a great person. It was a beautiful service."
Vito Rizzuto, who is serving a sentence in Colorado for racketeering related to three Mafia murders, was not seen at the funeral. The victim's grandfather and namesake Nicolo Rizzuto Sr. was there.
During the service, the priest, dressed in fuchsia robes, addressed the somber crowd in Italian.
One burly man angrily ushered journalists out of the church after they tried to enter to watch the proceedings.