Frank Cali of New York's Gambino family shot dead outside his Staten Island residence
In 2015, Cali replaced 68-year-old Domenico Cefalu to become the notorious Gambino family's acting boss
Reputed Gambino crime family boss Francesco "Franky Boy" Cali, 53, became the highest-ranking suspected mob figure to be killed in years after he was shot dead outside his home in Staten Island, New York City, on Wednesday night.
Police sources told The Post that while it was unclear how many times Cali was shot, a witness who called 911 reported hearing at least six gunshots. Corroborating the witness' account, one of Cali's neighbor, identified as Salvatore, told the New York Times he heard the burst of gunshots just after 9 pm. “I just heard the pow-pow-pow-pow-pow,” said the 58-year-old.
According to WNBC-TV, the NYPD is currently investigating the shooting and is looking for a suspect who sped away from the scene in a blue pickup truck. No arrests have been made as yet.
In 2015, Cali replaced 68-year-old Domenico Cefalu to become the notorious crime family's acting boss, per the New York Daily News. Court filings in recent years refer to Cali as the "underboss" of the Gambino syndicate. Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn said he was related through marriage to the Inzerillo clan in the Sicilian Mafia.
According to the Post, Cali was known to keep a low profile, a far cry from the larger-than-life and flashy style of late former boss John Gotti. “He was a real quiet old-school boss,” a police source said, referring to Cali.
Until the 1980s and 1990s, the Gambino Family was among the most powerful criminal organizations in the United States. However, federal prosecutors later diminished its influence after sending its top leaders to prison.
Cali was credited by the Gambino family with recruiting new immigrant gangsters from Italy, focusing on the heroin and Oxycontin trades, and was considered a unifying figure in the family, per the Post.
According to the Daily News, his only mob-related criminal conviction was in 2008, when he received 16 months on an extortion charge related to a failed attempt at building a NASCAR track on Staten Island.
Cali was the highest-ranking crime figure to be murdered in New York City since 1985, when well-known mob boss Paul Castellano was assassinated outside Sparks Steakhouse in Manhattan, WPIX-TV reports.