The man who fatally shot the reputed boss of the Gambino crime family may have staged a vehicle accident to lure him out of his home, New York City police have revealed.
NY media say it is the first killing of a family boss in the city since the Gambino family's Paul Castellano was shot dead outside a restaurant in 1985 on the orders of John Gotti.
Cali was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The motive for the attack was under investigation, police said.
It is believed he only had one criminal conviction, for conspiring to extort money in 2008 for which he served 16 months in prison.
Authorities are looking at several theories including whether Gotti, the younger brother of late Gambino godfatherJohn Gotti and a capo before going to prison, is now looking to claw back his stake in the family business, the Daily News writes. He was sentenced to life in prison and died of cancer in 2002.
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According to reports, Cali's death marks the highest ranking member of a NY crime family to be murdered in decades. The New York Daily News stated that a family member called 911 and said Cali was run over before he was shot; one witness told the Daily News, "There were like six shots, and then there were three more".
Shea said there has been a slight uptick in alleged mob-related violence in NY within the past year.
The Gambino family is one of New York's five historic Italian Mafia families - along with the Genovese, Lucchese, Colombo and Bonanno families.
"Anybody who was making a move on boss of a crime family - besides a one-off renegade, you know, insane character - would have to have the backing of captains in that crime family".
Cali shunned the limelight even after becoming don, ruling from the top while lying low in his affluent Todt Hill neighborhood in Staten Island, where Castellano also held court.
Also on Wednesday night, a Gambino family associate of over a decade, Anthony Pandrella, was arrested for robbing and murdering his friend Vincent Zito, 78, the US Attorney's Office in Brooklyn announced Thursday.
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