Police questioning suspect in Gambino crime boss death

Francesco Cali 53 was shot multiple times in front of his home on Hilltop Terrace on Wednesday

Francesco Cali 53 was shot multiple times in front of his home on Hilltop Terrace on Wednesday

The mafia didn't kill Gambino boss Francesco "Franky Boy" Cali - a twentysomething Staten Island hothead with a personal beef did, police and sources said Saturday.

"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. "We are at the beginning stages of this investigation", Shea said. "Was the person paid to do it?"

The 53-year-old Cali, a native of Sicily, was shot to death by a gunman who may have crashed his truck into Cali's auto to lure him outside. But NBC New York cited unnamed law enforcement sources who said that the death does not appear to be mob related and and who described the suspect as a conspiracy theorist. There were a dozen shots in all, six of them striking Cali in the chest.

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When asked about the suspect's arrest record, Shea said he "crossed paths in some limited circumstances with the NYPD", including getting a parking ticket on Staten Island the day Cali was killed.

The truck involved in the encounter has since been recovered, though the murder weapon has not, according to the police official. An assistant DA there referred a reporter to the office's public information officer, who was not immediately available. News accounts since 2015 said he had ascended to the top spot. Cali was convicted in an extortion scheme in the late 2000s and served 16 months in federal prison.

The shooting is reminiscent of the 1985 murder of another Gambino crime boss, Paul Castellano, who was gunned down outside a popular New York City steakhouse in 1985.

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