Mob boss 'Franky Boy' Cali shot dead outside his New York home
Frank Cali, the reputed boss of the Gambino crime family whose deep ties to the Sicilian Mafia made him a figure of influence and power in both New York and Sicily, has been shot dead outside his home in Staten Island, New York, police said.
At around 9.15pm on Wednesday, Cali (53) was in front of his red-brick colonial style home in the Todt Hill neighbourhood when he was approached by a blue pickup truck. Known as 'Franky Boy', the Gambino boss was reportedly shot six times in the chest and run over by the truck. Police said that a suspect then sped off.
Emergency services rushed Cali to Staten Island University North hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Police said no arrests had been made and that the investigation was ongoing.
Cali's death marks the first time in 33 years that a crime family boss was fatally shot in New York City.
Reports of sobbing, panic and fear from witnesses provided a window into the chaotic, swift violence that unfolded in a quiet neighbourhood long known for its mob history.
"There were like six shots, and then there were three more," one witness told the 'Daily News'. "The man was on the ground face-up. His head was by his SUV, and the truck was open."
Once described as "the rising star of the American mafia", Cali was an influential figure who surrounded himself with many Italian-born associates.
He gained the trust of Jackie 'The Nose' D'Amico, an acting boss who promoted him to capo before 40. Cali's ascension within the Gambino crime family, once considered one of the most significant criminal organisations in the US, came years after federal prosecutors sent its top leaders to prison, crippling its national and global reach.
One of those prosecutors, Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump's attorney, used the 1986 indictment of the heads of the five crime families to help launch his successful campaign for mayor of New York years later.
As a leader, Cali was reportedly considerably less flashy than the ebullient John Gotti, another Gambino boss, and was described by the 'New York Post' as "a real quiet old-school boss". Cali's influence reportedly stemmed from his family connections with the Inzerillo crime family in Palermo, Sicily. (© Washington Post Syndication)