Suspect arrested in murder of reputed mob boss

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A 24-year-old man has been arrested after the shooting death of the reputed boss of the Gambino crime family, New York City police said.

Anthony Comello was arrested in New Jersey on Saturday over the death of Francesco Cali in front of his Staten Island home, said Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea, who stressed that the investigation was in its early stages.

“There are multiple, multiple angles that we are exploring,” he said at a news conference at police headquarters. “Was the person paid to do it? Were others conspiring to do this crime?”

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 car to lure him outside. Mr Shea said Cali was shot 10 times.

Mr Shea said police had recovered the truck but had not recovered the gun used in the murder.

Police respond to a report of shots fired in the Staten Island borough of New York
Police respond to a report of shots fired in the Staten Island borough of New York (Joseph Ostapiuk/Staten Island Advance via AP)

Comello will be extradited from New Jersey to New York to face charges, Mr Shea said. Information on a lawyer for Comello was not immediately available.

Federal prosecutors referred to Cali in court filings in recent years as the underboss of the Mafia’s Gambino family, once one of the most powerful crime organisations in the country.

News accounts since 2015 said he had ascended to the top spot.

Police say they are still investigating whether Cali’s murder was a mob hit or whether he was killed for some other motive.

The last Mafia boss to be rubbed out in New York City was Gambino don “Big Paul” Castellano, who was assassinated while getting out of a black limousine outside a high-end Manhattan steakhouse in 1985.

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