News

Many unknowns following fatal Ont. shooting

Kate Dubinski, QMI Agency

Don Frigo (Ontario Out of Doors magazine website)

Don Frigo (Ontario Out of Doors magazine website)

LONDON, Ont. - On Thursday night, Donato Frigo hosted a barbecue at the Hullett Wildlife Conservation Area near Clinton.

Eva Willer, his wife, was there, as were many others from a dog training competition, their dogs and horses in trailers set up near the gathering.

“Everything was just normal. Don always invited me to their barbecue when they were having a competition,” Scott Austin, marsh manager at the wildlife area near Clinton, said Tuesday.

Two days later, at about 5 p.m., Frigo, 70, of Caledon East, was shot dead while riding a horse near the conservation area.

A woman, likely his wife although police have not confirmed her identity, suffered minor injuries and escaped.

“It’s a little bit eerie,” Austin said. “They’re super nice people, really passionate about their sport.”

The gunshots - it’s unclear how many - would have rung out in an area where gunshots are anything but rare.

“You can discharge a gun here any time, 365 days a year,” said Austin, who wasn’t at the conservation area on Saturday night when the killing took place.

“It was a Saturday, the end of goose season, which is a short 10-day season -- it would have been busy,” he said.

Police, always reluctant to release investigative details, remained uncharacteristically tightlipped about their ongoing probe.

Among the unknowns:

  • Was the woman with Frigo indeed his wife? The OPP haven’t confirmed.
  • Was the killing a targeted attack or a random shooting? A more relaxed police presence and search in the days following the shooting would suggest that police aren’t concerned a random shooter is on the loose.
  • Why was Frigo, a man described as a gentleman and royalty in the shooting dog community, gunned down?
  • What is the description of the man or woman who shot Frigo?
  • What is Willer’s condition, and is she still in hospital?

Parts of the wildlife area on Crown land were still closed to the public Tuesday, three days after the shooting.

Frigo and Willer had taken part in a competition in which they ran dogs from horseback.

They were part of a group from the Ontario Bird Dog and Conservation Association.

“They use that section of our property to park and unload their trailers,” Austin said.

His shooting death sparked a search over the weekend and had residents in the Clinton area on edge as police combed the rural region.

Kate.dubinski@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter: @KateatLFPress


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