Francesco “Frank” Cali, the alleged crime boss of the notorious Gambino family, was shot and killed in front of his Staten Island mansion on Wednesday night, the NYPD reports.
According to police, Cali, 53, was standing outside his white SUV in the upscale Todt Hill neighborhood of Staten Island when a man in a blue pickup truck drove by, shooting him six times in the torso. The pickup truck reportedly ran him over after he was killed, according to local news station WPIX.
Officers responded to a 911 call, where he was found with multiple gunshot wounds. Cali was transported to a local hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
#BREAKING: Source tells @PIX11News reputed #Gambino crime family boss Francesco #FrankCali was shot and gravely wounded on Staten Island after 9 pm tonight. Cali at SI University No. Hospital after shooting in Todt Hill. He has ties to Sicilian mob. pic.twitter.com/CgiRyO2jSb
— Mary Murphy (@MurphyPIX) March 14, 2019
Cali, 53, was reputed to be the boss of the notorious Gambino family, the Mafia family previously headed by legendary mafioso John Gotti, who died in prison in 2002. His death marks the first major mob boss assassination since that of Paul Castellano, the Gambino crime boss who preceded Gotti, who was shot outside of Sparks steakhouse in Manhattan in 1985. Castellano’s murder was reportedly prompted by an internal struggle for power within the Gambino family.
The Gambino family used to be one of the most powerful mob families in the country, as documented by author Selwyn Raab’s 2005 history of the American Mafia, Five Families: The Rise, Decline, and Resurgence of America’s Most Powerful Mafia Empires. According to Raab, while the Gambino family and the American Mafia in general have lost power in recent years, the FBI’s increased focus on counter-terrorism post-9/11 played a pivotal role in the Mob’s resurgence.
“The scare today, justifiably, is from terrorism, not from the Mafia,” Raab said in a 2016 interview with Rolling Stone. “You can see that in politics…when you leave [Mafia members] alone, they recoup. And that’s always been the problem. They have an organizational framework such that makes it so it doesn’t matter if you take out the leader.”