Top leader of Gambino crime family killed in New York

Crime scene tape laid across street where Francesco Cali 53 was shot dead

"The Gambino crime family during Castellano's reign was the largest criminal organization in the USA, with law enforcement estimating it had some 250 "'made" members" and "more than 550 lower-ranking "associate' members".

Officers rushed to his residence at around 9:17 p.m. local time after a report of an assault was called in, NBC News reported, citing the New York City Police Department. "EMS also responded to the scene and transported the victim to Staten Island University North, where he was pronounced deceased". Police are now investigating the matter and have yet to arrest anyone in connection.

A police source told DailyMail.com: 'Cali was home having dinner with his family when this truck pulled up.

Cali was not only shot several times, his killers even ran over him with their vehicle, according to the New York Post.

"The man was on the ground face-up". His head was by his SUV, and the truck was open'.

According to NBC New York, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn had described him as the underboss of the Gambino crime syndicate and was related through marriage to the Inzerillo family in Sicily.

Multiple press accounts since 2015 said Cali had ascended to the top spot in the gang, although he never faced a criminal charge saying so. He was succeeded in 2011 by Domenico Cefalu, only to be replaced four years later by Cali.

USA media reported the 53-year-old´s 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. In 1985, Paul Castellano was killed as he arrived at Sparks Steakhouse in Manhattan.

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.

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. Gotti died while in prison in 2002 of throat cancer and Gambino died in 1976.

Police sources described Cali's murder as "disrespectful" because it happened right outside his family home.

It is believed he only had one criminal conviction, for conspiring to extort money in 2008 for which he served 16 months in prison.

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