Alleged New York mob boss gunned down on Staten Island

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The reputed head of New York's notorious Gambino crime family has been shot dead on Staten Island in the first targeted killing of a mob boss in the city in more than 30 years.

Witnesses to the crime said the killers reportedly ran over Cali's body with a blue pickup truck after he was shot to make sure he was dead, according to the police, as The Daily Beast reported. 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.

"There are no arrests and the investigation is ongoing", a statement said. "His head was by his SUV, and the truck was open", the witness told the outlet.

The New York Daily News reported in 2008 that Cali was among 62 people arrested on federal racketeering charges and he later pleaded guilty to conspiring to extort money. It has been led in the past by infamous mobsters such as Carlo Gambino and John Gotti.

The last mob boss to be shot to death in New York City was Paul Castellano, who was killed outside of Sparks Steakhouse in Manhattan in 1985.

Cops retrieve evidence from the scene where Mob boss Francesco Cali was clipped late Wednesday. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Cops retrieve evidence from the scene where Mob boss Francesco Cali was clipped late Wednesday. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

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

Cali's only criminal conviction came from an extortion charge in 2008 for trying to shake down a trucker; he spent 16 months in prison.

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.

The Gambinos" rise to become one of the most powerful mafia families in America started in 1957, when the family's namesake, Carlos Gambino - an Italian immigrant - orchestrated the murder of Albert Anastasia, who had organized a collection of Italian gangs into what now would be considered a "crime family'.

The Gambino criminal organisation is one of the "Five Families" of organised crime in NY, alongside the Bonanno, Colombo, Genovese and Lucchese families.

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