A minor car accident in Staten Island may have been a planned precursor to a major mob murder. That's what police are now saying about the Wednesday night shooting death of Francesco "Frank" Cali, reputed head of the Gambino crime family, outside of his home. NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea tells NBC News that Cali may have stepped outside to see what all the racket was after what's being described as a blue or silver pickup truck rammed into his SUV, which Shea says may all have been "part of the plan." "He exits his house," Shea lays out the series of events. "There is a conversation with an individual in front of that residence. The individual pulls a weapon and shots were fired." The officer notes that Cali was struck six times after the suspect—described as being between 25 and 40 years old, per the New York Times—fired 12 times from a 9mm handgun.
What didn't happen, as had been initially reported: The 53-year-old wasn't run over first. "He was probably trying to elude gunfire by getting under a car," Shea says. While Shea is careful to say there's not yet any evidence this was a Mafia-orchestrated hit, USA Today reports the "stunning break in decades of relative mob peace" has experts on organized crime making predictions. "Anybody who was associated with this murder, whether it was mob related or not, a couple of guys got to get killed now," admitted Gambino hitman John Alite says. Anthony Arillotta, who did his own killings for the Genovese crime family, echoes that: "It could be a freak thing, wrong place, wrong house, wrong time," but "there's going to be more violence." NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio's take: "We thought those days were over ... but I guess old habits die hard," he said, per the New York Daily News. (Read more Gambino crime family stories.)