Francesco Cali, the reputed boss of the Gambino crime family, was fatally shot outside his home on Staten Island on Wednesday night, a senior police official said.
Mr. Cali, 53, was shot six times, the official said. The police said they received a report about the shooting outside 25 Hilltop Terrace in the Todt Hill section of Staten Island around 9:20 p.m. There was also a report of a blue pickup truck leaving the scene around the time of shooting.
Mr. Cali was pronounced dead at Staten Island University Hospital.
A 58-year-old neighbor who gave only his first name, Salvatore, said that he heard a burst of about seven gunshots shortly after 9 p.m.
“I just heard the pow-pow-pow-pow-pow,” he said.
He said he rushed to his window but could not see anything. He said the shots were all the same volume, as if fired from the same gun.
Two other neighbors who declined to give their names corroborated Salvatore’s descriptions.
The Gambino family was once the nation’s largest and most influential organized crime group, but several of its leaders were convicted in the 1990s of crimes that included murder and racketeering.
The family was led at the time by the showy crime boss John J. Gotti, who frequented expensive restaurants and nightclubs with a crew of bodyguards. He took power in the family by arranging for the murder of his predecessor, Paul Castellano, in 1985, in front of Sparks Steak House in Manhattan.
While it has been decades since a mafia boss was killed in New York, lower level members have been attacked or killed in recent years.