Reputed boss of Gambino crime family shot dead in NY

POLIZIA ITALIANA  AFP HANDOUT

POLIZIA ITALIANA AFP HANDOUT

The 52-year-old Cali, a resident of Hilltop Terrace, was transported to Staten Island University Hospital in Ocean Breeze in critical condition where he was later pronounced dead.

Witnesses told New York Daily News "there were like six shots, and then there were three more".

"There are no arrests and the investigation is ongoing", a statement said. But Cali told his brothers that while he was moved by their support, he would not accept the promotion to run the family's billion-dollar concerns.

Fox News noted, "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 as he arrived as Sparks Steakhouse in Manhattan, according to WPIX-TV". His head was by his SUV, and the truck was open'.

The organization reportedly focused its efforts on heroin and Oxycontin trafficking under his leadership.

Cali, who served on the family's ruling panel for several years, was elevated to acting boss in 2015, replacing then 68-year-old Domenico Cefalu.

He was described by mafia watchers as the opposite of the exuberant former boss John Gotti because "no one ever sees him".

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.

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. Paul Castellano also owned a home there.

He was charged in a massive 80-count racketeering indictment involving 62 alleged mob bosses, underlings and associates of the Gambino, Bonanno and Genovese crime families. John Gotti and his turncoat underboss, Sammy "Bull" Gravano watched the action from Third Avenue.

Since Gotti's downfall, the Gambinos - and other mafia families - have lost much of the power they once had over politicians, judges and labor unions.

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