Prosecutors say the boss of the notorious Gambino family, Frank Cali, was gunned down and killed outside his New York home.
Officials identified the man as Anthony Comello and said he was in custody in New Jersey pending extradition to Staten Island.
“The investigation is far from over,” NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea told reporters. “We do not believe this is a random act.”
Shea said police were still working to determine the suspect’s motive and whether he was working with or for other people.
“We are well aware of Mr. Cali’s past. That will be a part of this investigation as we determine what was the motive for the incident on Wednesday evening,” Shea said.
Comello had multiple residences, including one in Staten Island, Shea said. Comello had “crossed paths” with New York police multiple times in limited circumstances including a parking summons the day of the alleged murder.
Comello is being held in the Ocean County jail on a murder count, according to authorities.
Cali, 53, died at a hospital after being shot multiple times in the torso in front of his home in Staten Island. Police found Cali wounded after receiving a 911 call reporting an assault about 9:15 p.m. Wednesday.
Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn had referred to Cali in court filings in recent years as the underboss of the Gambino organization, related through marriage to the Inzerillo clan in the Sicilian Mafia.
Multiple press accounts since 2015 said Cali had ascended to the top spot in the gang, although he never faced a criminal charge saying so.
His murder marked the most notable killing of a Gambino boss since 1985, when Paul Castellano was shot dead in front of the Sparks Steak House in Manhattan. Cali lived less than a half-mile away from Castellano’s Staten Island mansion.
Cali was a native of Sicily, and his wife is the niece of Gambino head John Gambino.
The Gambino family was once among the most powerful criminal organizations in the United States, but federal prosecutions in the 1980s and 1990s sent its top leaders to prison and diminished its reach.
Contributing: John Bacon, USA TODAY
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