NY media reported that 53-year-old Cali was shot multiple times outside his vehicle on Staten Island on Wednesday evening, local time, by an unidentified man who then fled the scene in a blue auto.
Cali becomes the first Mafia boss murdered in NY since Paul Castellano was gunned down outside Sparks steakhouse in Midtown in 1985.
Francesco "Franky Boy" Cali, 53, was found with multiple gunshot wounds to the torso outside his home on Hilltop Terrace in Todt Hill.
AFP 2018 OLIVIER MORIN'Mafia Can't Become Extinct Because It's a Type of Behaviour- Criminologist
According to a 911 call made by someone in the Cali home, the crime kingpin was also run over before he was shot, though the Daily News police sources say that claim is still under investigation. He was pronounced dead at Staten Island University North hospital, according to police. The shooter sped off in a pickup truck, police said. Cali served a 16-month prison sentence for the crime.
Authorities are looking at several theories including whether Gotti, the younger brother of late Gambino godfather John Gotti and a capo before going to prison, is now looking to claw back his stake in the family business, the Daily News writes. The cases resulted in long prison terms for their bosses - Cali's swaggering 1980s-era predecessor John Gotti included - and encouraged their successors to keep a lower profile.
Federal prosecutors referred to Cali in court filings in recent years as the underboss of the Mafia's Gambino family, once one of the most powerful and feared crime organisations in the country.More news: Cyclone Idai could put 'tens of thousands' Mozambicans in danger
Cali was the first NY crime family boss shot in 34 years, according to WPIX.
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.
"We thought those days were over", the city's mayor Bill de Blasio told journalists.More news: Cyclone Idai batters Mozambique
Also on Wednesday night, a Gambino family associate of over a decade, Anthony Pandrella, was arrested for robbing and murdering his friend Vincent Zito, 78, the US Attorney's Office in Brooklyn announced Thursday.
He then allegedly returned to the scene of the crime hours later to grieve with the older man's family.More news: State Dept. bans International Criminal Court from US soil