One of the last of the reputed old-school mob bosses, Gambino crime family chief Francesco Cali, was gunned down and run over in front of his Staten Island home Wednesday night, city authorities confirmed.
“Franky Boy” Cali, 53, was shot several times and run over by a blue pickup truck in the island’s Todt Hill section around 9:15 p.m., according to multiple reports.
Witnesses reported hearing at least a half-dozen shots, police said.
The reputed mob boss was pronounced dead at Staten Island University Hospital North, they said.
Cali, whose low-key style was a throwback contrast to flamboyant mobsters such as John Gotti, is the highest-ranking reputed boss to be whacked in the city in several years.
The last rubout of that type was in 1985, when Gambino boss Paul Castellano was shot dead in front of Sparks Steak House in Manhattan, reportedly on orders by Gotti.
Gotti, who later died in prison, took over the Gambino family at the time. He was succeeded in 2011 by Domenico Cefalu, only to be replaced four years later by Cali.
A Brooklyn native who catered to immigrants and descendants of his parents’ native Sicily, Cali became a capo before turning 40, barely a decade before he was “made” – considered by many to be a swift rise, federal authorities said.
He was promoted to acting boss of the Gambino crime family in 2015 and was involved in trafficking heroin and Oxycontin, they alleged.
Cali served 16 months in federal prison after being convicted of extortion at a proposed NASCAR track on Staten Island in 2008.
His widow is the niece of Gambino capo John Gambino. His brother and brother-in-law are both reputed family soldiers.
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.
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