New York City Police (NYPD) Crime Scene investigators work at the scene where, reported New York Mafia Gambino family crime boss, Francesco “Franky Boy” Cali, was killed outside his home in the Staten Island borough of New York City, U.S., March 14, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
(Reuters) – Police have a 24-year-old suspect in custody in the slaying of reputed Mafia boss Francesco “Franky Boy” Cali in New York City, authorities said on Saturday.
The 53-year-old Cali, who was shot to death on Wednesday outside his Staten Island home, was allegedly the head of the Gambino family, one of the five Italian-American Mafia families that have historically dominated organized crime in New York and New Jersey.
Police apprehended Anthony Comello in New Jersey on Saturday and expect to charge him with murdering Cali, the New York Police Department’s Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea told a news conference.
“This is far from over. We are at the beginning stages of this investigation,” Shea said.
Surveillance video of the killing showed a man, allegedly Comello, crash his car into Cali’s parked SUV, drawing Cali outside in what might have been a ploy to lure him out of the house, Shea said.
ABC News reported that the two men spoke and shook hands before the suspect pulled out a gun. The suspect shot Cali as many as 10 times, Shea said.
Shea declined to say if Comello had a criminal record, but said he had “crossed paths” with the NYPD. Comello’s truck was issued a parking summons in Staten Island on the day of Cali’s murder, Shea said.
Police are still investigating the motive behind Cali’s murder, he said, including whether it might have been a domestic altercation or a mob-related killing.
Charges against members of Mafia operations, including Gambino family operatives, have included murder, loan sharking, gambling and illegal drug distribution, Reuters has reported.
Reporting by Joseph Ax and Gabriella Borter; Editing by Bill Berkrot and Marguerita Choy