Buying a car, finishing high school, meeting your girlfriend, winning your first football game at a new club, and starting a business—these were moments Luca Virgona couldn’t wait to share with his father.
Paul Virgona was his best friend and biggest supporter.
But the father-of-two was not there at any of those moments.
On his way to work on November 9, 2019, Paul Virgona was fatally shot in cold blood by two Mongolian bikes for reasons police cannot explain.
Aaron Ong and Josh Rider had been monitoring his Croydon home for hours before Mr Virgona went to work at 2am and followed him as he selected the day’s fruit and veg order.
They pulled up alongside him on the freeway and fired 11 shots at his van with a semi-automatic pistol, hitting him 11 times.
The murder of Croydon father-of-two Paul Virgona (pictured), who was in the process of going out of business to spend more time with family, remains a mystery
Mr. Virgona’s van went out of control. When police found him, the engine was still running, his phone was lit on his lap and Mr Virgona was dead.
Luca Virgona never missed an opportunity to chat with his best pal and couldn’t wait to tell him about his latest achievements and see how proud his dad was.
“These are the moments that I never had, that I never will have,” he told the Victorian Supreme Court on Tuesday.
“It’s nagging to know that the future is filled with unanswered phone calls.”
Giulia Virgona said she and her father looked forward to their future achievements together.
“To achieve those goals without having to have him is a struggle in itself,” she said.
Luca was 17 and Giulia 14 when their father died.
Although two Mongolian bikers, Josh Rider (pictured) and Aaron Ong, have been convicted of murder, it is still unknown what the motive behind the murder was and who fired the gun
Rider pleaded guilty to the murder of Mr Virgona last year and weeks later a jury convicted Ong of murder.
Prosecutors are unable to establish which of the two was behind the wheel of the high-performance Mercedes that followed Mr Virgona from his home to the crime scene or who fired the fatal shots, but said their guilt was based on their acting together.
Prosecutor Mark Gibson, KC, said Mr Virgona had no criminal connections and was not connected to the Mongols bike gang like Ong and Rider were.
“There is nothing behind Mr Virgona that could explain why he was targeted and killed,” he said.
Rider’s attorney, Dermot Dann, KC, did not dispute the allegation that there was a mistake in identity.
The court heard Rider may have spoken to a psychologist about a motive, but Mr Dann said there would be no evidence to back that up.
Rider also told the psychologist that he made an “extremely bad decision” and acknowledged Mr Virgona’s death was unintentional.
Mr Vigona’s widow (left) told Victoria High Court on Tuesday that she will “miss him with sorrow every day”, while his son Luca (right) said he misses his father and best friend
Antonietta Virgona said her husband was an easy-going, carefree, and knowledgeable man with a passion for cars, motorcycles, sports, and most importantly, food.
On his way home from work, he stopped at a pasticceria and picked up pastries for his wife and family, or spontaneously decided to take them on an ice cream outing.
“He enjoyed the simple things in life and was easily content,” she said.
Ms. Virgona said her husband began winding up his business to spend more time with his family, but that responsibility fell to her after his death.
“I had imagined a long aging together,” she said.
“Paul was my everything.” I live with sadness every day. “I will miss Paul for the rest of my life.”
Marc Virgona said his brother never thought he was being followed or in danger.
“Why would you do that when you’re an innocent human being who just works to provide for your family?” he said.
Her parents, Giuseppe and Geraldine Virgona, were also in court at the hearing, which is still ongoing.
Ong and Rider supporters were in court and shed tears as the family spoke.
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