New York's Gambino crime family kingpin Frank Cali shot dead on Staten Island

14 March 2019 11:23 America Desk

Gambino family mobster Francesco "Frank" Cali has been murdered in what local media say is the first major New York gang killing in more than 30 years.

New York media reported that 53-year-old Cali was shot multiple times outside his car on Staten Island after 9:00pm (local time) by an unidentified man who then fled the scene in a blue car.

Witnesses told local media of hearing at least six shots coming from outside, and seeing Cali's family members rushing outside and crying next to his body.

No arrests have been made at this time.

Police confirmed the identity of Cali, who was pronounced dead at Staten Island University Hospital.

He was reputed to be the boss of the Gambino crime family.

Cali was believed to have been elevated to the position of acting boss in 2015, taking over from Domenico Cefalu.

He had long ties with the Sicilian mafia and the Gambino family, and was said to have intentionally kept a low profile during his time in charge.

His murder is the first of a New York mob boss since Paul Castellano was famously assassinated at Sparks Steakhouse in 1985.

John Gotti, who organised the hit, then took power at the helm of the Gambino family.

The influence of the Gambinos waned in the 1990s after a number of members turned government informers and several leaders were imprisoned.

Cali himself was jailed for 16 months for his connection to an extortion scheme surrounding an attempt to build a NASCAR track on Staten Island.

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