Local News

Domestic violence could be factor in fatal Raleigh shooting

Posted August 30, 2012 6:32 p.m. EDT
Updated August 31, 2012 6:23 a.m. EDT

— Investigators searched a Raleigh home Thursday afternoon of the estranged husband of a woman fatally shot at an apartment complex earlier in the day.

A police spokesman said Agata Flipska Vellotti, 43, was killed just before 9 a.m. at the Meridian at Wakefield apartments, at 11501 Colbert Creek Loop, in north Raleigh.

Someone who called 911 told the dispatcher that the shooting occurred near Forest Pines Elementary School.

"There's a silver Lexus, and a woman is lying on the sidewalk," the caller said.

Vellotti's husband, Mario Vellotti, 64, of 2728 Kinsley Place, was charged with murder late Thursday.

He was taken into custody shortly after the shooting at the Raleigh Police Department's Downtown District substation and was later taken to WakeMed for a medical evaluation.

Neighbors said the couple, who were married in Krakow, Poland, in 2005, had a volatile relationship and that Agata Vellotti moved out of the home with their 7-year-old son several weeks ago.

Court documents show that District Judge Lori Christian issued a domestic violence protective order last month against Mario Vellotti and that the couple had been fighting for custody of their son.

At one point, according to the judge's ruling in the custody case, Agata Vellotti left with the boy for five days in June following an incident in which Mario Vellotti allegedly assaulted her in front of the child.

Also, according to court documents, Mario Vellotti did not let his wife have friends, a cellphone, a house key and he kept her from attending church.

Police said the Vellottis' son is the the custody of "an appropriate public agency."

A woman, who did not want to be identified, said she was in the police station lobby shortly after 10 a.m. when a dozen officers converged on the area and were talking about how they were waiting for a man to surrender for killing his wife.

The witness said she was ushered into a storage area as a safety precaution until the man was detained. When she was able to return to the lobby, the woman said, she heard officers talking about transporting the man to WakeMed because he complained of chest pains.

WRAL News video captured emergency workers placing the man in an ambulance. Neighbors identified him as Marco Vellotti.

A silver 2007 Lexus sedan, similar to one police were looking for in connection with the shooting, also sat outside the downtown police station and had been cordoned off by crime scene tape by 11 a.m. Records indicate the car is registered to Mario Vellotti.

In Internet postings last month on a blog about corruption in family courts, someone by the name of Mario Vellotti took issue with Christian's rulings and denied the accusations in her custody ruling, saying he is disabled and incapable of the claims his wife made.

In one post, on July 18, "Being in Jude Christian [sic] court brought out the worst of me."

In a posting three days later, the same author wrote, "The allegations against me were not proven and they were false! … By the way my wife was the one that abducted my son and for five days I lived in hell! Don’t worry your honor every dog gets his day in the sun!"

When reached by phone Thursday afternoon, Christian had no comment on the situation, citing judicial ethics.