World

Suspect charged with killing NY mafia boss

By AAP Newswire

A Staten Island man has been arrested and charged over the execution-style killing of the boss of the Gambino Mafia crime family.

Anthony Comello, 24, was arrested in New Jersey in the shooting death of Frank Cali outside his Staten Island home, New York Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said on Saturday.

The truck used to lure Cali into the line of fire was recovered in Brick Township, New Jersey, about 80 kilometres from the site of the shooting.

Cali, who took over as head of the Gambino crime family in 2015, was shot 10 times and left to die behind the rear bumper of his car. Comello allegedly fled in the truck and headed south to a New Jersey town where his family owns a house.

An unspecified dispute between the killer and Cali - not linked to the mob - is an "angle that is being explored" for a motive, a New York Police Department source said. A separate source said earlier that the killing "appears" to be unrelated to any Mafia feud.

But Shea declined to provide any detail on what happened before the Wednesday night shooting.

"Let me reiterate this (investigation) is far from over," Shea said. "Was he acting alone? Was he acting for other people? Were others involved? What was the motive? I do not have all the answers for you."

State Supreme Court Justice Judge Charles Troia approved an arrest warrant specifying that Comello will be charged with murder, assault and weapons possession upon his return to Staten Island. Authorities need to extradite the murder suspect from the Ocean County Jail in New Jersey.

According to Shea, police spoke with Comello several times before he got a lawyer and stopped co-operating.

Shea declined to discuss any relationship between the mob boss and his alleged killer.

"We are all aware of Mr. Cali's past," Shea said. "That will be part of the investigation."

The Sicilian-born mobster known as Franky Boy walked into an ambush when the killer staged a car crash, ploughing a ute into the SUV parked outside Cali's house about on Wednesday night, police said.

When Cali, 53, left his family at the dinner table to investigate, the truck driver jumped from the vehicle and opened fire.