A top leader of Gambino crime family is slain in New York

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The reputed head of New York's Gambino crime family, Frank Cali, has been killed outside his home, the city's police have told United States media.

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New York Police Department and New York City Fire Department units at the scene where mafia crime boss Francesco "Franky Boy" Cali, 53, was shot dead on Staten Island.

The New York Post reported that police sources said the shooter hit Cali with multiple bullets and a 911 caller said they heard six or seven shots.

Witnesses told local media of hearing at least six shots coming from outside, and seeing Cali's family members rushing outside and crying next to his body. Another witness told the Daily News: "The man was on the ground face-up". His head was by his SUV, and the truck was open'.

He was believed to have had deep ties to the mafia in Italy: As Staten Island Live reports, Cali "was born in Brooklyn and married into the Inzerillo family of Palermo and cultivated close ties with members of the Siderno cartel in Italy". The house is listed under the name of Rosaria Inzerillo.

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Cali reportedly took over the Gambino crime family in 2015, according to a profile in Gang Land News.

Cali, who had Sicilian lineage, is part of a "resurgence" in mob activity and reportedly concentrated on the heroin and OxyContin trade, according to The New York Post.

The appointment allowed Cali to join the ranks of former leaders like John Gotti and Carlo Gambino.

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 Gambino Family was once among the most powerful criminal organizations in the USA, but federal prosecutions in the 1980s and 1990s sent its top leaders to prison and diminished its reach. Some of the indictments included murder, drug trafficking, robbery and extortion, according to The Mob Museum.

Cali's killing comes less than a week after the death of longtime Columbo crime boss Carmine Persico, 85, who'd been serving a 100-year prison sentence for racketeering and murder.

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