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Suspect in custody in shooting death of reputed Gambino mob boss

Suspect in custody for mob boss killing

A 24-year-old Staten Island man is in custody in connection to the shooting death of Francesco "Franky Boy" Cali, the New York Police Department said Saturday. The NYPD said Anthony Comello is in custody in New Jersey, and will likely be taken to the New York City borough to face murder charges. 

Cali, the reputed boss of the Gambino crime family, was gunned and mowed down Wednesday night outside his home on Staten Island. There were a dozen shots in all, six of them striking Cali in the chest. His wife and children were home at the time.

The NYPD said it was unclear what, if any, ties Comello has to organized crime. 

 NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea stressed at a press conference after Comello was taken into custody that the investigation is "far from over."  

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Shea said the suspect's fingerprints were found "on the victim's car at murder scene" and "we believe we have fingerprints recovered from vehicle and other places."  

Police said surveillance video captures the shooter and the pick-up believed to be the getaway truck. Cali's body was found in an area of Staten Island that has been home to some of New York's most notorious mobsters and their families.  

"He has a conversation with an individual in front of that residence and that individual at some point in time, it's only about a minute into it, pulls out a firearm and shots are fired," Shea said. 

The shooting is reminiscent of the 1985 murder of another Gambino crime boss, Paul Castellano, who was gunned down outside a popular New York City steakhouse in 1985.

Castellano's death led to the rise of John "Dapper Don" Gotti, who then took over as Gambino family boss, running criminal enterprises ranging from gambling to money laundering to prostitution. After Gotti went to prison, Cali eventually took over the organization.

Police are looking into whether this was the work of an organized crime gang, or a faction inside the Gambino family, including John Gotti's brother, Gene, who was just released just months ago after serving 29 years for dealing heroin.

DeMarco Morgan contributed to this report.