The police took a 24-year-old Staten Island man into custody in connection with the fatal shooting of the reputed boss of the Gambino crime family and expected to charge him with murder, officials said on Saturday.
The motive for the killing was unclear, Dermot F. Shea, the Police Department’s chief of detectives, said at a news conference on Saturday.
“Was he acting alone?” he said. “Was he acting for other people? What was the motive? I simply, standing here in front of you, do not have all the answers.”
He identified the man as Anthony Comello, and multiple sources said he was taken into custody in Brick Township, N.J., on Saturday morning. He was being held in the Ocean County Jail at the request of the New York Police Department, according to a jail official.
Several officials said preliminary information suggested that the killing of the reputed boss, Francesco Cali, who was shot outside his home on Staten Island on Wednesday night, was not related to organized crime. However, one official cautioned that the inquiry was still in its early stages.
After initially speaking with detectives on Saturday morning, Mr. Comello retained a lawyer and has not given a statement since.
“We expect him to be charged with the murder of Francesco Cali,” Chief Shea said.
Two law enforcement officials said that Mr. Comello had no criminal history but had nonetheless come to the attention of law enforcement before.
Sometime in recent years, his strange behavior in a federal courthouse was such that the United States Marshals Service briefly took him into custody and asked the New York Police Department’s Intelligence Division to check its records to determine if he had any history of terroristic threats. Neither of the officials had any details about the specific nature of his behavior, but both said no such history could be found.
Fingerprints were recovered from Mr. Cali’s vehicle but the police would not confirm that the forensic evidence pointed toward Mr. Comello. The police said they have not recovered a weapon. Read more at The New York Times