Reputed New York crime boss shot dead outside home

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Assassins gunned down Gambino crime family boss Frank Cali outside his Staten Island home on Wednesday night.

Cali, 53, was shot several times in the Todt Hill district of Staten Island on Wednesday evening and died later in hospital.

The circumstances preceding the shooting weren't immediately known, but police say they're looking for a blue pickup truck that fled the scene.

It's more than three decades since the last hit on a boss of one of the five families, but Cali's murder is a reminder that - at least as far as the rest of us know - the Mafia really did split up NY into five territories, and continues to operate that way despite huge numbers of arrests over the years.

He was arrested in 2008 as part of a sweeping indictment by the Justice Department against organized crime but has mostly kept a low profile since.

Cali is the highest-ranking member of a crime family to be murdered in New York in decades, New York ABC station WABC reported.

The day after Castellano's December 1985 murder, The New York Times called the Mob boss' death "highly stylized", but Giuliani dismissed such morbid romanticism.

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In style and substance, Cali - who was born in Sicily - was the diametric opposite of the flashy John Gotti.

Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn had referred to Cali in court filings in recent years as the underboss of the Gambino organisation, related through marriage to the Inzerillo clan in the Sicilian mafia.

Following Castellano's murder, Gotti headed the Gambino family until his incarceration for conspiracy and murder in 1992.

Someone called 911 about the crash - in addition to other calls about shots fired out on the street, sources said.

The family was headed by Domenico Cefalu until 2015, when Frank Cali took over as capo. The 85-year-old was serving a 100-year federal prison sentence after his conviction on racketeering and murder charges in the famous mid-'80s "Commission trial". Castellano's 1985 murder was orchestrated by late John Gotti, who then became the head of the Gambino family.

Business Insider said Cali essentially was in charge of New York City's city's food industry and was worth an estimated $30 million. The others are the Bonanno, Colombo, Genovese and Lucchese families.

Police work near the scene where an alleged leader of the Gambino crime family was shot and killed in the Staten Island borough of New York, Thursday, March 14, 2019.