Gambino crime boss slain outside Staten Island home

Gambino crime boss slain outside Staten Island home

Shortly after, emergency responders arrived on the scene and Cali, who was born in New York City, was transported to Staten Island University North Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The body of former mob boss John Gotti is carried from Papavero Funeral Home in the Queens borough of NY 15 June 2002.

The Sicily native, who is married to John Gambino's niece, served on the family's ruling panel for several years before being promoted to acting boss in 2015, replacing the previous leader Domenico Cefalu, also known as "Greaseball".

After reportedly taking the reins in 2015, Cali was described by mafia watchers as the opposite of Gotti because "no-one ever sees him", the New York Post reported.

The shooting wasn't the only recent mob assassination in NY.

Cali's distraught family members rushed outside after the shooting.

"There are no arrests and the investigation is ongoing", police said in a statement.

The New York Daily News reported in 2008 that Cali was among 62 people arrested on federal racketeering charges and he later pleaded guilty to conspiring to extort money.

Federal prosecutors referred to Cali in court filings in recent years as the underboss of the Mafia's Gambino family, once one of the most powerful and feared crime organisations in the country.

Cops retrieve evidence from the scene where Mob boss Francesco Cali was clipped late Wednesday. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Cops retrieve evidence from the scene where Mob boss Francesco Cali was clipped late Wednesday. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Frank Cali, 53, was shot multiple times and then run over by a pickup truck, according to the New York Daily News.

The Gambino family is one of five mafia families that have operated in New York City for decades.

Paul Castellano, the Gambino family head at that time, was shot in the street on Manhattan's East Side.

Unlike the well-dressed Gotti of the late 1980s and early 1990s, Cali kept a low profile.

Last week, Carmine Persico, the 85-year-old former boss of the Colombo organisation, died after serving 33 years of a 139-year prison sentence. An Italian mobster said Cali was "everything over there" in NY and referred to him as "a friend of ours".

Cali had been considered a unifying figure in the crime family, in the years after John Gotti was convicted and sent to prison by cooperating mob witnesses.

The newspaper cited a past report saying Zito's still-living older brother, Anthony, has ties to the Lucchese crime family and was jailed in the 1970s for extortion.

Last October, 71-year-old Sylvester Zottola of the Bonanno family was shot dead while waiting in his auto for an order from a Bronx McDonald's.

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