Winnipeg suspect in Oshawa killings was largely shut out of father’s will at time of shootings, documents show

By | September 11, 2020

The man suspected of wounding his sister, fatally shooting her husband and three of their kids inside their Oshawa, Ont., home last week, was all but left out of his father’s will, according to court documents obtained by CBC News.

Instead, Mitch Lapa’s sister Loretta Traynor and her children were the beneficiaries of almost all of her late father’s estate. 

Police say Lapa, 48, was an “uninvited person” when he drove from his home in Winnipeg to target Traynor and her family.

Traynor was wounded and is still recovering. Her husband Christopher Traynor, 50, and three of their four children were killed. 

Durham Regional Police have identified the children as Bradley Traynor, 20, Adelaide Traynor, 15, and 11-year-old Joseph Traynor. The couple’s fourth child, Sam, was not in the home at the time.

Police say after shooting his sister’s family, Lapa fatally shot himself.

Siblings, from left, Joseph Traynor, Adelaide Traynor and Bradley Traynor were killed along with their father. (Twitter and Facebook)

Sister inherited cottage

Before his death in 2019, Matthew Lapa made it clear in his will that his son Mitch would not receive much of his wealth. 

The will was signed on Sept. 25, 2015. It makes no mention of why his son wouldn’t benefit the way his daughter would.

In April 2018, Matthew transferred sole ownership of his North Kawartha, Ont., cottage to Loretta, according to land registry documents. 

After he died in January 2019, his will also stated she and her four children would receive the proceeds of the sale of his Oshawa home. It sold in March 2020 for approximately $430,000.

She was also entitled to other financial assets under by the estate.

As for Mitch, the will stated he would receive only $30,000. It also indicated that if he tried to challenge the will, he would be cut out entirely.

Police won’t say if the will may have sparked tensions between Mitch and Loretta, or if it might have been a motive for the homicides.

A spokesperson for the Durham Regional Police Service says investigators are aware of the information, but do not divulge motives in active homicide investigations.   

“We’ll follow up on any lead or information,” Dave Selby told CBC News. “We are looking at everything.” 

‘None of us were surprised’

Most recently, Mitch Lapa had been living in Winnipeg where he worked for a property management company. Prior to that he spent several years driving a bus in Fort McMurray, Alta.

Some people that grew up with him say they immediately suspected he was involved when word of the killings spread.

Samantha Candle knew Lapa when he was a student at Oshawa’s O’Neill Collegiate and Vocational Institute.

Police say Mitch Lapa, Loretta’s brother, seen here in an undated photo from high school, shot the family then killed himself. (Name withheld by request)

“None of us were surprised he could have done this,” she told CBC News.

She said Lapa was intelligent but abusive. 

She described how Lapa once invited people over to the family home for a party, then shot fireworks at them later that night.

“I saw all this red smoke. He just said, ‘Thanks for coming, everybody,'” she recounted. 

A young woman at the party was badly burned as a result, she said.

She said Lapa was a “disgusting person” who often bullied or victimized others violently.

“He started getting creepy and weird,” she said.

Candle said her biggest concern now is for his sister. 

“Everybody we know keeps thinking about her and how she’s going to get through this,” she said.

Another former high school friend, Ted Minnett, said Lapa was arrested as a teen for carrying a gun while walking down an Oshawa street.

It’s unclear if charges were laid or what the outcome of that incident was.

“He was manipulative and struck fear into people,” Minnett said.

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