Gambino family mobster Francesco "Frank" Cali has been murdered in what local media say is the first major NY gang killing in more than 30 years.
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.
Cali, 53, was fatally shot multiple times to his torso shortly after 9pm local time in front of his home, police said. A witness told the publication they heard three more shots in addition to the six that hit Cali, and described a distraught and panicked scene as the mobster's family ran outside to try to help him.
Last October, Sylvester Zottola, 71, reportedly of the Bonanno crime family, was gunned down at a McDonald's drive-thru in the Bronx.
Cali's only mob-related criminal conviction came a decade ago, when he pleaded guilty in an extortion scheme involving a failed attempt to build a NASCAR track on Staten Island.More news: Serena Williams retired from her Indian Wells encounter with Garbine Muguruza
Both John Gambino and Cali had "very strong ties" to Sicily, allowing Gambino to effectively negotiate the crime family's Sicilian and American factions, Probation said. They remain powerful players in the black market, however, in loan sharking, gambling, prostitution and the drug trade, according to law enforcement.
John Gotti, who organised the hit, then took power at the helm of the Gambino family.
Before losing his life, Cali - who usually kept a low profile - had been considered a unifying figure for the Gambino crime family.
The late NY native had served time in recent years, too.More news: I apologise to Britain, says Shamima Begum's dad
Detective Shea said that Cali's Cadillac SUV, which was parked outside the home, was struck resulting in him rushing outside to investigate.
Cali, who was born and raised in NY, was the nephew-in-law of John Gambino and the great-nephew of Bonanno mobsters Vito Bonventre and Giovanni Bonventre.
A Gambino family memeber has spoken out after the death of Gambino crime boss, Frank Cali, and paid tribute to the man he says all the kids looked up to.
Last October, 71-year-old Sylvester Zottola of the Bonanno family was shot dead while waiting in his vehicle for an order from a Bronx McDonald's.
His widow is the niece of Gambino capo John Gambino.More news: Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates with Simeone's 'big balls' gesture
Cali's killing comes less than a week after the death of longtime Columbo crime boss Carmine Persico, 85, who'd been serving a 100-year prison sentence for racketeering and murder.