Francesco “Franky Boy” Cali, the 53-year-old reputed Gambino crime family boss, was reportedly shot dead Wednesday night outside his home in the New York City borough of Staten Island, making him the highest-ranking suspected mob figure to be killed in the city in years.
Cali was shot several times in the torso in the Todt Hill section of Staten Island around 9:20 p.m., the New York Post reported. He was rushed to Staten Island University Hospital North, where he was pronounced dead.
It was unclear how many times Cali was shot, but a witness who called 911 reported hearing at least six gunshots, police sources told the paper.
A neighbor of Cali’s told the New York Times that he heard a burst of about seven gunshots just after 9 p.m.
“I just heard the pow-pow-pow-pow-pow,” said the 58-year-old, who identified himself to the paper as Salvatore.
No arrests had been made as police continued to investigate the shooting. The NYPD said it was looking for a suspect who sped away from the scene in a blue pickup truck, WNBC-TV reported.
Cali became the notorious crime family’s acting boss in 2015, replacing then 68-year-old Domenico Cefalu, according to the New York Daily News.
WARNING: STORY CONTAINS GRAPHIC PHOTO BELOW
He was known for keeping a low profile, in stark contrast to the flashy style of the late former boss John Gotti, according to the Post.
“He was a real quiet old-school boss,” a police source told paper, referring to Cali.
Cali was considered a unifying figure in the family, credited with recruiting new immigrant gangsters from Italy and focusing on the heroin and Oxycontin trades, the Post reported.
Cali served a 16-month sentence in 2008 on an extortion charge connected to a failed attempt to build a NASCAR track on Staten Island, the Daily News reported.
Cali, who had roots in Sicily and ties to the Sicilian Mafia, was the highest-ranking organized crime figure to be murdered in New York City since 1985, when Paul Castellano was assassinated outside Sparks Steakhouse in Manhattan, according to WPIX-TV.