The man accused of killing the Gambino crime boss reportedly attempted to make a citizen’s arrest of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio a few months before the slaying.
Anthony Comello, 24, appeared outside City Hall several months before fatally shooting Francesco “Franky Boy” Cali to protest the mayor. He said he wanted “Hizzoner”—slang for the title of the mayor—behind bars and tried to make a citizen’s arrest, police said, according to the New York Post.
— NJ.com (@njdotcom) March 17, 2019
Comello is charged with killing Cali, leader of the Gambino crime family, outside of his Staten Island home on March 13. The 53-year-old was shot 10 times in a neighborhood known for its mob connections.
A surveillance camera attached to the family’s home captured Comello backing his truck into Cali’s driveway, hitting his SUV and knocking the license plate off. Comello then rang the doorbell and Cali stepped outside.
The men talked briefly before Comello shot him, Fox News reported. Cali then tried to hide under his SUV before the gunman drove off. He died in a hospital later that night. The gun has yet to be found.
UPDATE: The NYPD says 24-year-old Anthony Comello was arrested early Saturday in connection to the shooting death of Francesco “Franky Boy” Cali earlier this week. https://t.co/jJjbGkB1QF
— CBS New York (@CBSNewYork) March 16, 2019
Comello was arrested on March 16 in New Jersey, where he lives with his parents. He works part-time at a construction site, according to reports.
The young man reportedly told investigators he was high on marijuana during the shooting and that he shot Cali because he was afraid for his life, according to Fox News.
“The investigation is far from over,” Dermot Shea, Chief of Detectives at the NYPD, told reporters over the weekend. “We do not believe this is a random act.”
Anthony Comello ID’d as suspect in killing of Gambino boss https://t.co/75wFg68lLA
— Beth Joy Papaleo ???? (@BethPapaleo) March 16, 2019
Comello may also have killed Cali because the Gambino leader prohibited his niece from dating the 24-year-old, reports claimed. However, police stated they are still investigating the motives behind the slaying.
“Not yet three days into this investigation, certainly the priority was getting the individual responsible for the murder off the street. That has been accomplished. As we move forward let me again reiterate, this is far from over, we are at the beginning stages of this investigation. Was he acting alone, was he acting for other people, are there others involved, what are the motives?” said Shea.
Police have a suspect in custody in connection with SI Gambino crime boss killing. They have an arrest warrant in hand for 24yo Anthony Comello. Police are stationed outside his home in Annadale. @NY1 pic.twitter.com/0pw8Usz8En
— Van Tieu (@Van_Tieu) March 16, 2019
The murder was reportedly the first slaying of a New York City crime boss in more than three decades. Paul Castellano, also a member of the Gambino group, was shot and killed outside Sparks Steakhouse in Manhattan in 1985.