Gambino family mobster Francesco "Frank" Cali has been murdered in what local media say is the first major NY gang killing in more than 30 years.
The New York Police Department says that at 9:17 p.m. ET, officers received a 911 call reporting an assault in progress in front of Cali's house at 25 Hilltop Terrace.
Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said police are reviewing surveillance footage that captured the events surrounding Frank Cali's death yesterday in Staten Island. Police told NBC News affiliate WNBC that a suspect fled in a blue pickup truck.
Cali was the first NY crime family boss shot in 34 years, according to WPIX.
Reputed Gambino Crime Boss Frank Cali Shot Dead In Front Of Staten Island Home
A law enforcement official confirmed to CNN that the victim was a high-ranking member of the Gambino organized crime family and is believed to be the acting boss.
Cali reportedly became the Gambino godfather in 2015 and is said to have brought a new crop of Italians to NY straight from Sicily.
Cali's only criminal conviction came from an extortion charge in 2008 for trying to shake down a trucker; he spent 16 months in prison.
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.
Cali was named head of the family in summer 2013, DNA Info reported at the time, taking over total control of the more than 750-person organization.
Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn had referred to Cali in court filings in recent years as the underboss of the Gambino organisation, related through marriage to the Inzerillo clan in the Sicilian mafia.
Cali was not only shot several times, his killers even ran over him with their vehicle, according to the New York Post.
Following Castellano's murder, Gotti headed the Gambino family until his incarceration for conspiracy and murder in 1992.
The body of mafia crime boss Paul Castellano lies on a stretcher outside the Sparks Steak House in NY after he and his bodyguard were gunned down December 16, 1985.
The post-Gotti chapter saw the mob's influence on the USA eastern seaboard wane - but Wednesday's hit threw NY back to its golden years of organized crime. On April 6, 2009 he was released from prison. The others are the Bonanno, Colombo, Genovese and Lucchese families.
Witnesses told New York Daily News "there were like six shots, and then there were three more".
NY media reported that 53-year-old Cali was shot multiple times outside his auto on Staten Island on Wednesday evening, local time, by an unidentified man who then fled the scene in a blue vehicle.
A week ago, Persico died after serving 33 years in prison.