Reputed Gambino Family Crime Boss Frank Cali Shot and Killed Outside Home in New York

Francesco Cali, a reputed New York crime boss, was shot and killed outside a home Wednesday night on Staten Island Wednesday night.

frank-cali_getty-New York Daily News : Contributor
(Photo: New York Daily News / Contributor, Getty)

The 53-year-old was found with multiple gunshot wounds to the torso, according to the New York Police Department.

A law enforcement official said that the victim was a high-ranking member of the Gambino crime family and is believed to be the acting boss, CNN reports.

Police responded to a 911 call Wednesday night of an assault in front of the home. EMS responded to the scene and transported Cali to Staten Island University North, where he was pronounced dead.

Police say there are no arrests and that the investigation is ongoing. Police told NBC News affiliate WNBC that a suspect fled in a blue pickup truck.

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.

"There were like six shots, and then there were three more," one witness, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told the Daily News. "The man was on the ground face-up. His head was by his SUV, and the truck was open."

Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn had referred to Cali in court filings in recent years as the underboss of the Gambino organization, related through marriage to the Inzerillo clan in the Sicilian Mafia, according to The Associated Press.

Multiple reports since 2015 detail that Cali had ascended to the head of the organized crime family, although he never faced an official criminal charge saying so. Cali replaced then 68-year-old Domenico Cefalu.

Cali was the first New York crime family boss shot in 34 years, according to WPIX. In 1985, Paul Castellano was killed as he arrived at Sparks Steakhouse in Manhattan. Then-boss John Gotti and his turncoat underboss, Sammy "Bull" Gravano" reportedly watched the action from nearby.

Cali had been considered a unifying figure in the years after Gotti, aka "Dapper Don," was convicted and sent to prison by cooperating mob witnesses. Unlike his notorious predecessor, Cali kept a low profile. Gotti died in prison in 2002.

Cali's killing comes less than a week after the death of legendary mobster Carmine Persico, the longtime boss of the Colombo crime family. The 85-year-old was serving a 100-year federal prison sentence after his conviction on racketeering and murder charges in the famous mid-'80s "Commission trial."

Persico, whose health had deteriorated in recent years, was blind in one eye and nearly blind in the other. He died at the Duke University Medical Center last Thursday.