More than three decades of Mafia peace has been shattered by the murder of Gambino crime family boss Francesco 'Franky Boy' Cali, who was shot dead and run over by a pickup truck in front of his home in Staten Island on Wednesday.
Cali, 53, was shot six times outside his redbrick house in the upmarket Todt Hill neigborhood, while his wife and young children were inside.
One man, believed to be a family member, ran outside, collapsed and cried, 'Papa! Papa!'
Cali's murder is the first hit on a Mafia boss since John Gotti arranged the assassination of then-Gambino head Paul Castellano in 1985.
'Even Gotti had more respect... he did it out in Manhattan,' one source told the New York Post.
Police responding to a 911 call about an assault in progress just after 9.15pm arrived to find Cali with six gunshot wounds to the torso. He was pronounced dead at a hospital soon after.
Investigators, including the FBI, are looking into whether the hit was was authorized by one of New York’s five Mafia families, or whether it was carried out by a 'cowboy' gunman.
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Gambino crime family boss Francesco 'Franky Boy' Cali has died after being shot six times and run over by a pickup truck in front of his home in Staten Island on Wednesday night
No arrests have been made and an investigation is ongoing as police search for a blue pickup truck that fled the gruesome scene after it is believed to have run Cali over.
A police source told DailyMail.com: 'Cali was home having dinner with his family when this truck pulled up. He was shot outside the home.'
A witness told The New York Daily News: 'There were like six shots, and then there were three more.
'The man was on the ground face-up. His head was by his SUV, and the truck was open.'
One of Cali's neighbors, 58-old-year Salvatore, told the New York Times he heard a burst of about seven gunshots. 'I just heard the pow-pow-pow-pow-pow,' he said, adding, 'You never know who your neighbors are'.
It is understood Cali's distraught family members ran outside after the shots were fired.
One man collapsed in front of the home crying: 'Papa! Papa!' as a woman shouted into her phone: 'Why doesn’t the ambulance come? He’s not breathing!'
Police are seen outside Cali's family home in Staten Island on Wednesday evening
Cali's home in the Todt Hill neighborhood of Staten Island is seen above in the daylight
The Sicily native, who is married to John Gambino's niece, served on the family's ruling panel for several years before being promoted to acting boss in 2015, replacing the previous leader Domenico Cefalu, also known as 'Greaseball'.
The organization reportedly focused its efforts on heroin and Oxycontin trafficking under his leadership.
Among law enforcement officials, Cali was known as a 'real quiet old-school boss' - one police source told the New York Post.
He was considered to be a foil of his former boss John Gotti because 'no one ever sees him'.
Cali only had one criminal conviction, having spent 16 months for a 2008 federal extortion charge in connection with a failed bit to build a NASCAR race track in Staten Island.
First Mafia boss hit since the day Big Paul Castellano was whacked outside a steakhouse
Cali's murder is the first hit on a Mafia boss since John Gotti arranged the assassination of then-Gambino head 'Big Paul' Castellano - outside Sparks Steakhouse - in 1985.
The notorious assasination saw Castellano, 70, and his underboss Thomas Bilotti, 47, both shot in the face by a three-man hit squad just after the two victims had stepped out of their car.
Castellano's reign as kingpin had begun in 1976 after the death of Carlo Gambino.
The Gambinos were the most powerful of the five families of the New York City mafia and worth an estimated $500 million a year
Gambino capo John Gotti (left) was part of a three-man hit squad that shot Mafia kingpin Paul Castellano (right) outside a steakhouse in 1985
Big Paul was made boss instead of the likely heir, the then-underboss Aniello Dellacroce - a decision which annoyed those loyal to Dellacroce.
They were further enraged by Castellano's insistence on living as a recluse in his mansion in Todt Hill, Staten Island, which earned him the moniker, 'the Howard Huges of the Mob'.
When Dellacroce died of cancer in 1985, Castellano disrepected the Family by not attending the funeral.
The bodies of Castellano and Bilotti lay in a pool of blood after they were gunned down outside Sparks steakhouse in Manhattan
The final nail in his coffin was when he made Capo Thomas Bilotti his underboss.
John Gotti, who had been loyal to Dellacroce and didn't think Castellano was worthy of being the Don, and the irate Gambinos then decided to whack Castellano.
At the time, Castellano had been on trial in Manhattan federal court on racketeering charges involving three murders and an international stolen car ring but the trial was in recess.
On December 15, 1985 Gotti and the Dellacroce devised a plan to assassinate Castellano and Bilotti - by luring the boss to a meeting at Sparks Steakhouse on 210 E. 46th St., between Second and Third Avenues.
The scene of the crime. Big Paul was made boss instead of the likely heir, the then-underboss Aniello Dellacroce - a decision which annoyed those loyal to Dellacroce
At around 5.30pm, Gotti and Salvatore 'Sammy the Bull' Gravano were driving in Gotti's Lincoln Town Car when they spotted the boss in his Black Lincoln Town Car.
Gotti drove on ahead and parked at a vantage point across the street from the restaurant.
At around 6pm, Castellano and his Underboss Thomas Bilotti pulled up at Sparks Steakhouse to attend a sit down with Frank DeCicco to apologize for missing Dellacroce's funeral.
Just as they exited the car, the assassin shot Castellano six times. He fell to the pavement and died. Bilotti, who was in the driver's seat was also shot dead.
Gotti then drove past the scene, while Gravano looked at Bilotti's body, saying 'he's gone'.
Soon after, John Gotti became Boss, Frank DeCicco became Underboss, and Gravano became Consigliere in 1986.
THE GAMBINO CRIME FAMILY
The Gambino crime family is one of what is widely referred to as 'The Five Families' of Italian organized crime operations in New York City and other parts of the United States.
The Gambinos' rise to become one of the most powerful mafia families in America started in 1957, when the family's namesake, Carlos Gambino - an Italian immigrant - orchestrated the murder of Albert Anastasia, who had organized a collection of Italian gangs into what now would be considered a 'crime family.'
Gambino headed the organization until 1976, when he handed power over to his brother-in-law Paul Castellano. Like other mafia families, the Gambinos took their methods from the crime families in Italy - La Cosa Nostra - and were involved in illegal activities like loan-sharking, extortion, prostitution, gambling and money laundering - as well as the frequent assaults and murders associated with those types of business ventures.
In 1985, Gambino 'capo' John Gotti orchestrated the murder of Castellano to become the most publicized boss of the family.
Gotti's reign came to an end when his underboss, Sammy 'The Bull' Gravano agreed to testify against him and other members of the family in a 1992 RICO trial.
Since Gotti's downfall, the Gambinos - and other mafia families - have lost much of the power they once had over politicians, judges and labor unions.
The family was headed by Domenico Cefalu until 2015, when Frank Cali took over as capo.