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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Gunman in North York shooting was not evil, but ‘broken’ by fraud


The wife of the gunman in Monday’s double murder-suicide in North York says she doesn’t consider her husband an evil person, but one who was “broken” by a lengthy fraud dispute that saw their family savings drained.

The incident happened just before 3:30 p.m. in the lobby of an office building near Don Mills and Mallard roads, south of York Mills Road.

“He just couldn’t believe that we were scammed for all our money and, since it’s happened, […] he was in depression. He couldn’t take it,” Alisa Pogorelovsky said in an exclusive interview with CTV News Toronto on Wednesday.

Police have identified the two victims of the shooting as 54-year-old Arash Missaghi and 44-year-old Samira Yousefi. Alan Kats, who was 46, took his own life at the scene.

“Nobody can take life away, nobody has permission to do that. I think he was just broken,” Pogorelovsky said.

“I think what happened on Monday [was] he was just trying [to] protect his family.”

At the time of the shooting, Kats and Pogorelovsky were plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the two victims, along with a number of other companies and individuals, after the “loss of $1.28 million to a syndicated mortgage fraud.”

The statement of claim alleged Missaghi was “a prolific fraudster,” involved in a ”sophisticated” mortgage and property scam in Ontario. It also alleged Yousefi was his associate, claiming she knowingly assisted in carrying out fraud against the plaintiffs.

Missaghi faced criminal charges in 2018 for his alleged role in a complex mortgage fraud scheme valued at $17 million. The allegations against him and Yousefi had not been proven in court.

After the shooting, Pogorelovsky said she found a note penned by her husband that claimed his death was in the hands of Missaghi and Yousefi.

Pogorelovsky and her husband owned a construction company, and while she said they received partial payments on their investments, they ultimately lost their life savings.

“It just destroyed me, destroyed my family, I can’t sleep, can’t eat, I just don’t know how to live my life,” she said.

Alan Kats

Police have said that the shooting took place inside “financial transactions” business. Four people were believed to be inside the building at the time.

Sharhokh Biniyaz, a graphic designer and photographer, has a studio down the hall from where the shooting occurred.

Biniyaz told CTV News Toronto that he heard gunshots and people arguing followed by another gunshot a couple of minutes later. At that point, he fled the building and called 911.

Once police arrived, he said he heard more shots.

“We heard four, five, maybe six shots, one after the other, and that was it,” he said.

A large police presence could be seen in the area following the shooting, including outside Northmount School, an independent all-boys Catholic school at 26 Mallard Rd. The school was temporarily placed under a lockdown late Monday afternoon along with St. George Mini School & Infant Care, which operates two centres in a nearby building.

The investigation into the shooting is ongoing. Anyone with information to contact police at 416-808-3300 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or www.222tips.com.

With files from CP24’s Joanna Lavoie, CTV News Toronto’s Mike Walker, and The Canadian 





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