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"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.

Shortly after, emergency responders arrived on the scene and Cali, who was born in New York City, was transported to Staten Island University North Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

"He has a conversation with an individual in front of that residence and that individual at some point in time, it's only about a minute into it, pulls out a firearm and shots are fired", said NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea.

Police were seen taking a late-model silver Cadillac Escalade SUV away from the scene on a covered, flatbed truck around noon Thursday.

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Cali is the first family boss to be murdered since the brazen 1985 power play that left Paul "Big Paulie" Castellano bleeding out in the street in front of Sparks Steakhouse and John Gotti on top of the Gambinos.

The New York Daily News stated that a family member called 911 and said Cali was run over before he was shot; one witness told the Daily News, "There were like six shots, and then there were three more". Castellano was the last New York City crime boss to be gunned down, and Gotti later died in prison in 2002.

Author Selwyn Raab, who investigated the mob over four decades for the New York Times, thought the Mafia in New York had been on the ropes.

The reputed boss of New York's Gambino crime family was left riddled with bullets outside his home on Staten Island, an old-school hit akin to the storied executions of 20th Century mafia dons. Cali's wife and young children were inside the home when he was gunned down. Cali replaced then 68-year-old Domenico Cefalu.

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Cali's killing comes less than a week after the death of legendary mobster Carmine Persico, the longtime boss of the Colombo crime family.

That hit was ordered by Gotti, who later took over the family until being convicted of racketeering and Castellano's murder in 1992.

The Gambino family is one of five mafia families that have always been seen as running Italian-American organized crime syndicates in NY.

It is believed he only had one criminal conviction, for conspiring to extort money in 2008 for which he served 16 months in prison.

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Last October, 71-year-old Sylvester Zottola, a reputed associate of the Bonanno organisation, was shot dead at a takeaway restaurant in the Bronx, New York.


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