Cali's only mob-related criminal conviction came a decade ago, when he pleaded guilty in an extortion scheme involving a failed attempt to build a NASCAR track on Staten Island. Gotti took over the crime organization; he died of cancer, in prison, in 2002.
Authorities have claimed the 53-year-old Cali is the boss of the Gambino crime family, previously headed by the infamous John Gotti.
The Gambino family was once considered the biggest organised crime group in the U.S., the New York Times reports, but began to decline after Gotti and other senior figures were jailed.
The Gambino family is one of five mafia families that have always been seen as running Italian-American organized crime syndicates in NY.
Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said there has been a slight urise in alleged mob-related violence in NY within the previous year.
His wife and children were inside the home in the swanky Todt Hill area. He focused his criminal talents on the heroin and OxyContin trades, police said. Witnesses told NY media outlets that they heard a number of shots before a blue pickup truck fled the area.
The circumstances preceding the shooting weren't immediately known, but police say they're looking for a blue pickup truck that fled the scene, CBS New York reported.
Both John Gambino and Cali had "very strong ties" to Sicily, allowing Gambino to effectively negotiate the crime family's Sicilian and American factions, Probation said.
That hit was ordered by Gotti, who later took over the family until being convicted of racketeering and Castellano's murder in 1992.
Paul Castellano also owned a home there.
Unlike the well-dressed Gotti, Cali kept a low profile. For that, he got 16 months in prison before he was released. An Italian mobster said Cali was "everything over there" in NY and referred to him as "a friend of ours".
Last week, the longtime boss of the Colombo crime family, 85-year-old Carmine "the Snake" Persico, died at a North Carolina hospital near the federal prison where he had been serving what was effectively a life sentence.
Last October, 71-year-old Sylvester Zottola of the Bonanno family was shot dead while waiting in his vehicle for an order from a Bronx McDonald's.
"Papa! Papa!" one man yelled, a witness said.
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