Niagara Gazette

Local News

July 2, 2014

Victim in Depetris case recounts shooting

Niagara Gazette — LOCKPORT — Santos Viola stood in a Niagara County courtroom on Monday morning with his three daughters next to him.

In a strong, but sometimes halting voice, he told Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas about the night that he says changed his life forever.

“On the evening of March 26, 2012, I was shot by Tim Depetris at the front door of my business,” Viola said. Tim Depetris shot me at point-blank range. Tim fired two more shots at me, with one of them whizzing by my head. I can’t describe the terror I experienced during this vicious attack.”

Depetris, standing at a table with his defense attorneys, just a few feet away, never once looked at his brother-in-law. 

Viola’s family sat on one side of the courtroom, while Depetris’ mother, and other relatives sat the on the other. The admitted attacker’s wife and children occupied a center section of the spectator gallery.

It was the final act in a family tragedy that will see the son of the founder of Electrodyn Choke Corp., a legendary Falls business, spend the next 25 years of his life behind bars.

Viola, 56, was shot in the upper chest, near his shoulder, after going to the door of his business, in the 2300 block of Hyde Park Boulevard, for a pizza delivery. He said the scars from multiple surgeries he underwent in the aftermath of the attack “serve as a daily reminder” of what happened to him.

“It has affected my sleep and my job performance,” he told the judge. “I can’t perform any task without pain.”

Grasping the hand of one of his daughters, Depetris said she had taken a leave from her graduate school studies to help keep his business afloat. 

“But the most substantial impact of this crime has been the emotional distress it has caused us,” Viola said. “Tim Depetris came in the dark of the night to murder me and after he was incarcerated, continued to pursue his plan of murder without hesitation or remorse.”

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