Gambino crime family boss Frank Cali shot, killed

According to a report published by CNN, Francesco "Frank" Cali was scooped up by investigators on the front steps of his Staten Island residence with fatal gunshot wounds across his torso. Gotti died in prison in 2002.

"The Gambino crime family during Castellano's reign was the largest criminal organization in the US, with law enforcement estimating it had some 250 "'made" members" and "more than 550 lower-ranking "associate' members".

More recently, Cali was reputed to be the leader of the Gambino crime family, having assumed the top role in 2015.

Cali is the first mob boss to be taken out since John Gotti Sr. orchestrated the assassination of then-Gambino boss Paul Castellano in 1985, according to The New York Post.

The Mafia's notoriety and influence have waned in New York City since then, but there have been flare-ups.

The shooting outside Cali's home, the source said, suggests the killing was meant to send an ominous message.

As Mr. Castellano and his associate, Thomas Bilotti, stepped out of a limousine on East 46th Street near Third Avenue shortly before 5:30 p.m., the police said, three men approached, drew automatic weapons from under their trenchcoats and opened up a barrage of gunfire at close range.

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.

According to NBC New York, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn had described him as the underboss of the Gambino crime syndicate and was related through marriage to the Inzerillo family in Sicily. Unlike the well-dressed Dapper Don of the late 80s and early 90s, Cali had kept a low profile.

Aggressive federal prosecutions in the past 25 years decimated the ranks of New York's five Mafia families.

Cali, 53, said to be head of the infamous Gambino crime family, may not have seen the blue pickup truck approaching before it mowed him down. An Italian mobster said Cali was "everything over there" in NY and referred to him as "a friend of ours".

It is unclear who killed Cali, who reportedly became the head of the crime organization in 2015. He served a 16-month sentence.

"Papa! Papa!" one man cried before laying down on the grass, sobbing, the witness recounted.

  • Rogelio Becker