A 24-year-old man arrested in last week’s shooting death of reputed Mafia boss Frank Cali is believed to have carried out the deadly attack after Cali prevented him from dating a family member, according to multiple reports.
Anthony Comello, 24, was arrested on Saturday at his family’s home in Brick, New Jersey. He wanted to date Cali’s niece, who’s in college, CBS News reported, citing police sources. But Cali did not approve.
Comello worked in construction and was not in the mob, according to the New York Post. But police said they believe he is the shooter who killed the 53-year-old crime boss outside of his New York City home.
On Wednesday evening, someone backed a pickup truck into Cali’s Cadillac Escalade before ringing the doorbell of his Staten Island home, drawing Cali outside, authorities said. The attacker then pulled out a pistol and repeatedly fired into Cali, leaving him fatally wounded, according to police.
Surveillance video and fingerprints recovered from a bent license plate at the scene linked Comello to the shooting, police said.
Cali was allegedly the head of the Gambino family, one of the five Italian-American Mafia families that have historically dominated organized crime in New York and New Jersey.
“We are well aware of Mr. Cali’s past,” New York Police Department Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said at a press conference on Saturday. “That will be a part of this investigation as we determine what was the motive for the incident on Wednesday evening. There are multiple, multiple angles that we are still exploring.”