The murder of reputed Gambino crime family boss Frank Cali on Wednesday recalled New York City's last major mob hit almost 35 years ago: the assassination of Paul Castellano outside a Manhattan steak house on a December afternoon in 1985.
Cali was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
"There were like six shots, and then there were three more", one witness, who asked that her name not be used, told The New York Daily News.
'The man was on the ground face-up.
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. "His head was by his SUV, and the truck was open", the witness told the outlet.
The Sicily native, who is married to John Gambino's niece, served on the family's ruling panel for several years before being promoted to acting boss in 2015, replacing the previous leader Domenico Cefalu, also known as "Greaseball".
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The Gambino crime family is one of New York's notorious "Five Families" and traces its origins to the early 20th century.
Cali's only criminal conviction came from an extortion charge in 2008 for trying to shake down a trucker; he spent 16 months in prison.
Rudolph W. Giuliani, who at the time was the United States Attorney for the Southern District of NY, condemned the killings and vowed to find those responsible.
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.
Charges against members of Mafia operations, including Gambino family operatives, have included murder, loan sharking, gambling and illegal drug distribution, Reuters has reported.
The Gambino criminal organisation is one of the "Five Families" of organised crime in NY, alongside the Bonanno, Colombo, Genovese and Lucchese families. John Gotti and his turncoat underboss, Sammy "Bull" Gravano watched the action from Third Avenue.