Gambino Crime Boss Francesco "Frank" Cali Shot Dead In New York

Erika Holt
March 15, 2019

EMS responded to the scene and transported Cali to Staten Island University North, where he was pronounced dead.

The gunmen pulled up in a blue pickup truck outside Cali's home at about 9:20 p.m. on Wednesday evening and opened fire as the victim stood outside his Todt Hill home, police reported.

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 was the first NY crime family boss shot in 34 years, according to WPIX.

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Gotti, who later died in prison, took over the Gambino family at the time.

After exiting a limousine outside the restaurant, Castellano and his underboss, Thomas Bilotti, were approached by three men in trench coats who shot them each about six times, The New York Times reported at the time.

The Gambino operation is said to be one of the five historic Italian-US mafia families in NY.

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The reputed boss of the US Gambino crime family was shot to death in front of his NY home by a gunman who may have staged a vehicle accident to lure him outside, dying a virtual unknown compared with his swaggering 1980s-era predecessor, John Gotti. 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".

"Frank Cali was a pretty likeable guy, and also this is not a way the mob would kill one of their own", he said.

A man said by federal prosecutors to be a top leader of the Gambino mob family was fatally shot outside his home in NY on Wednesday night.

Paul Castellano, the Gambino family head at that time, was shot in the street on Manhattan's East Side.

Cali kept a much lower profile than Gotti and was killed in far less spectacular fashion than Castellano.

Last October, 71-year-old Sylvester Zottola, a reputed associate of the Bonanno organisation, was shot dead at a takeaway restaurant in the Bronx, New York.

A Brooklyn native who catered to immigrants and descendants of his parents' native Sicily, Cali became a capo before turning 40, barely a decade before he was "made" - considered by many to be a swift rise, federal authorities said.

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