The mafia didn’t kill Gambino boss Francesco “Franky Boy” Cali – a twentysomething Staten Island hothead with a personal beef did, police and sources said Saturday.
Anthony Comello, 24, a non-mobster who works odd construction jobs, was named as the suspect who blasted at least ten slugs into Cali, 53, on the street outside the boss’s brick mansion.
It was the first assassination of a New York City mob boss since an upstart John Gotti had Gambino boss Paul Castellano whacked outside Sparks Steak House in 1985.
Investigators quickly feared a mob war in the making.
But they now believe a personal dispute was to blame – over a woman in Cali’s family, according to multiple law enforcement sources.
The nature of the dispute was not immediately clear.
But sources said Cali – who helmed a family notorious for gambling, loan sharking, and its deadly trade in heroin and oxycodone – thought Comello was trouble, sources said.
Cali didn’t think Comello was worthy of associating with a woman in his family, the sources added.
At a press conference Saturday afternoon, Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea announced Comello’s arrest, but said such issues as motive and possible accomplices were still under investigation.
“Everything is on the table at this point,” he said. “The investigation continues.”
Additional reporting by Laura Italiano