New York Mafia chieftain gunned down in front of mansion

Witnesses reported seeing a blue pickup truck speeding away, police said.

Francesco Cali, 53, was found with multiple gunshot wounds to the torso, the New York Police Department said.

Franceso "Frank" Cali was taken to Staten Island University Hospital North and pronounced dead, the New York Post reported.

The New York Daily News reports that a panicked family member called 911 and told the dispatcher that Cali was run over before he was shot, although investigators were still looking into whether the gunman mowed the mobster down.

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.

USA media reported that his death marked the first murder of a NY mob boss in 34 years, since the death of Paul Castellano - another Gambino family boss - by order of John Gotti.

This is a breaking story. Gotti died in prison in 2002. Witnesses told NY media outlets that they heard a number of shots before a blue pickup truck fled the area.


Also on Wednesday night, a Gambino family associate of over a decade, Anthony Pandrella, was arrested for robbing and murdering his friend Vincent Zito, 78, the US Attorney's Office in Brooklyn announced Thursday.

It's unclear whether Cali's murder was carried out by a rogue actor or approved by other members of the Italian American mafia in New York City.

Detectives stand over body of reputed mob boss Paul Castellano, after execution on 46th St. Body of Castellano's chauffeur, Thomas Bilotti, lies partially covered in the street, far left.

Following Castellano's murder, Gotti headed the Gambino family until his incarceration for conspiracy and murder in 1992.

Business Insider reported in 2013 that Cali had reportedly turned down an offer to head the crime family. He was sentenced to 16 months in federal prison and released in 2009.

Authorities believe Cali, who has kept a low profile in comparison to his predecessors, had ties to the Inzerillo mafia family in Sicily.

Cali, who served on the family's ruling panel for several years, was elevated to acting boss in 2015, replacing then 68-year-old Domenico Cefalu. Sylvester Zottola, 71, reportedly of the Bonanno crime family, was gunned down at a McDonald's drive thru in the Bronx last October, according to WABC.


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