Ricardo Francis Scarpino, a 37 year old man from West Vancouver, was shot dead in front of a restaurant on his way to his own engagement party at Gotham, an upscale steakhouse in Vancouver.
Scarpino was in a 2007 Land Rover with his fiancée and two other men Saturday night on their way to one of the most expensive restaurants in Vancouver where 47 guests awaited their arrival.
Vancouver police spokesman Tim Fanning described the incident as a targeted shooting. “As they were about to get out of the car, two men ran west across the street, fired a number of shots into the car, killing two of the men.”
The shooting took place in a very well populated area of town, it was fortunate that nobody else was harmed.
Investigators are pouring over surveillance tapes trying to find clear images of the two shooters who escaped on foot after killing Scarpino and another man sitting behind him in the car. The second victim’s name has not been released at this time. More than 200 witnesses have already been interviewed in this case.
This wasn’t Scarpino’s first brush with danger. A self-proclaimed poker player, he would sometimes brag about carrying around $100,000 in poker winnings and wearing a diamond-encrusted Rolex watch, thrusting himself into harm’s way.
Back in September of 2005, Ricardo was robbed at gunpoint when he was carrying a sack containing $65,000 in cash, and hundreds of thousands more in gold and diamond jewelry, that he was planning on taking to a safety deposit box.
“I have made a very good living on poker in the last several years, which has afforded me to live my lifestyle the way I do,” the 37 year old said. “As I am a professional poker player, when I go to a poker game, I can have anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 on me. People know I play poker and carry this amount of money on me when I have a game.”
His insurance company was refusing to pay his claim on his losses during the robbery, so he was in the middle of a court battle. Court documents provide a glimpse into the lifestyle of the gangster and police say that he was a freelancer who worked with a number of organized crime groups in British Columbia over the years. He was also a suspect in an ongoing murder case when he was killed Saturday night.