NEW YORK – The son of a reputed Bonanno crime family associate was critically wounded in a brazen shooting steps away from his lavish Bronx compound Wednesday morning, law enforcement sources told The New York Post.
Salvatore Zottola was shot three times when someone who pulled up in a dark-colored Nissan sedan opened fire as he was walking to his car on Tierney Place near Longstreet Avenue in the Locust Point section of the borough at around 6:40 a.m., sources said. During the attempted hit, one round grazed the victim’s head.
As a result, Zottola, 41, was rushed to Jacobi Medical Center in critical, but stable condition, officials said.
The homicidal shooting suspect was spotted driving away from the scene, sources said.
During the crime scene investigation, detectives recovered four shell casings where a pool of blood could be seen in the street a few feet away from the curb.
Thus far, there have been no arrests made in the brazen shooting.
Neighbors on Tierney Place were not shocked by the gun violence.
“It’s not a surprise. Look at what he does for a living,” one woman said. “I can’t say any more. It’s not worth my life. It’s not worth my daughter’s life.”
According to the Post report, the Zottola family appears to own a cluster of three similar-looking homes at the end of Tierney Place, near a yacht club and a marina.
One of the homes has a “Z” emblazoned at the top of it on the front façade along with a circular imprint on the side that says “ZOTTOLA’S COURT” — featuring an engraved flower and words underneath that read: “OUR WALLS ARE BUILT THICK OUR LOVE FOR EACH IS THICKER.”
Another one of the homes has a similar plaque on the side of it that reads “ZOTTOLA’S COURT” with the words, “OUR FOUNDATION IS BUILT FROM LOVE OUR STRENGTH KEEPS US TOGETHER.”
And a third home in the complex has a faux address on it listed as 2 Jukebox Lane.
Imprisoned for life Bonanno crime-family boss Vincent “Vinny Gorgeous” Basciano once set up his mistress, Debra Kalb, in a Bronx home owned by Zottola, according to published reports.
In the video below, the suspect vehicle drives up to the victim as the passenger opens fire. The victim hits the ground and rolls to the rear of his mini-van. The shooter apparently realizes the intended target wasn’t sufficiently hit, so he exits the car, with weapon drawn, and runs toward the victim.
As the shooter approaches and continues to fire, the victim rolls on the ground in the opposite direction in an effort to avoid being struck by gunfire.
Although he was shot multiple times, the victim’s strategy helped him avoid what appeared to be certain death.
Zottola’s distraught relatives declined comment as they gathered at Jacobi Medical Center’s surgical intensive-care unit.
Neighbors described him as a friendly fixture who regularly hosted parties.
“Almost every weekend he’d have the whole neighborhood over,” said Joe Peloso, 78, who noted that he also knew Sylvester Zottola. “It’s like an open house over there. He’s good to the neighborhood.”
At the elder Zottola’s home — which was lined with several security cameras — there was no answer at the door Wednesday afternoon.
A man who answered a phone call to a number listed to Sylvester Zottola warned, “Don’t f***ing call me no more!”