The head of the Gambino crime family, Francesco “Franky Boy” Cali was gunned down on Wednesday night in front of his Staten Island home.
The 53-year-old Cali was shot six times in the chest and then run over by an assassin driving a blue pickup truck in the lavish Todt Hill neighborhood around 9:20 p.m., while his wife and young children were inside, according to the NY Post.
He was taken to Staten Island University Hospital where he died.
“The gunman sped off in a blue pickup truck after the hit, which one source described as “disrespectful” because it took place near his family home in an outer borough.
Cali is the first mob boss to be slain in New York City since a fresh-faced John Gotti ordered the murder of then-Gambino boss Paul Castellano in 1985 at Sparks steakhouse in Midtown.
“Even Gotti had more respect,” one police source told The Post. “He did it out in Manhattan.” –NY Post
Neighbors were rattled by the shooting in an otherwise quiet neighborhood.
“I’ve seen the [mob] movies . . . but I’ve never seen any activity that we feel at all that there’s something strange about this area,” said 39-year-old local Prashant Ranyal.
“You never know who your neighbors are,” said a 58-year-old neighbor named Salvatore.
New York investigators are now probing whether the hit was sanctioned by the commission of New York’s five families – or a lone gunman.
A native of Sicily, Cali became the de facto godfather of the Gambino family in 2015 where he kept a low profile because “no one ever sees him.”
Cali “was a real quiet old-school boss,” one police source told The Post.
“He infused the family with a new crop of immigrant Italian gangsters and focused on the heroin and OxyContin trade, sources told The Post in September.
He had just one criminal conviction: on an extortion rap in 2008 for an attempted shakedown of a trucker working at a proposed NASCAR racetrack in Staten Island. Cali served just 16 months in the prison on the conviction. –NY Post
New York, meanwhile, has seen a recent resurgence in mob activity in recent months. In October, 71-year-old Bonnano associate Sylvester Zottola was gunned down at a Bronx McDonald’s drive-thru, while John Gotti’s brother Gene, also 71, was released from prison after 29 years in lockup for dealing heroin.