Trials pending for the killing of “Sally Daz” Zottola

Cain and Abel of the mafia’s ‘Five Families’ faced each other in court on Wednesday when the eldest son of a slain mobster testified against his younger brother – who is accused of orchestrating the 2018 attack on their father.

Black sheep Anthony Zottola, 44, has also allegedly recruited members of the Bloods gang to take down his older brother Salvatore Zottola, 45, who described in chilling detail how he was repeatedly shot dead outside their family’s waterfront neighborhood in the Bronx .

Salvatore said he stopped counting after the fifth shot but believed he may have been hit by seven shots during the July 11, 2018 assassination.

A bullet even grazed his head, but miraculously did not penetrate his skull.

“It was like lights out,” Salvatore told a federal jury in Brooklyn.

The incident happened less than three months before family patriarch Sylvester “Sally Daz” Zottola was fatally shot while waiting for a cup of take-out coffee at a McDonald’s drive-through restaurant in the Bronx.

Anthony Zottola Sr.
Anthony Zottola reportedly recruited members of a Bloods gang to take out his older brother.
Crime scene in front of McDonalds
Sylvester “Sally Daz” Zottola was fatally shot outside the Bronx McDonald’s.
Christopher Sadowski
Zottola's car is riddled with bullet holes after the fatal shooting.
Zottola’s car is riddled with bullet holes after the fatal shooting.
Christopher Sadowski

Prosecutors allege Anthony paid a Bloods gang member, Bushawn “Shelz” Shelton, $200,000 to root out his 71-year-old father so he could take control of the older man’s $45 million real estate empire.

His murder was initially suspected to be Mafia-related because Sally Daz – a respected associate of the Bonanno and Lucchese crime families – was suspected of operating a number of illegal “Joker Poker” slot machines.

His sons stole repeated glances at each other during Salvatore’s testimony Wednesday, with Anthony looking listlessly at his brother as he took notes at the defense table.

But they never seemed to close their eyes.

Salvatore – who was granted immunity after invoking the Fifth Amendment when called to the witness stand on Tuesday – testified that he was knocked to the ground by a shot to the chest, fired by a man in a car was fired with a New Jersey license plate.

“I tried standing up. I fell on the curb. I couldn’t run. Rolling was the best I could do,” he said.

Mug shot for Bushawn Shelton.
Bushawn Shelton.
Sal zotolla testifies that his father was shot
Sal Zotolla testifies that his father “Sally Daz” was shot.
Jan Rosenberg

A friend and a relative who witnessed the attack “started yelling and yelling at me,” he said.

“They told me to stay downstairs.”

Salvatore said he drifted “in and out of consciousness” but recalled telling witnesses to take $1,200 that he had hidden in his sock so the attackers couldn’t get it.

He also asked her to relay what he feared would be his final message.

“I said, ‘Tell my wife and my kids and my dad that I love them,'” he testified.

After the attack, Salvatore said Anthony “never came” to visit him in hospital.

“He said he had to go to a football game with his kids,” Salvatore said.

At some point after that, Salvatore said he asked Anthony if he knew anything about the origin of the violence against him.

Anthony replied that “he didn’t know where it came from either,” Salvatore said.

Salvatore Zottola
Salvatore Zottola arrives September 7 in federal court in Brooklyn.
Gregory P. Mango
Man shoots another man
Salvatore Zottola’s shooting was caught on security footage.

The attack on Salvatore was caught on surveillance video, which showed him being shot dead in a drive-by shooting as he got out of a minivan.

Salvatore tried to crawl to safety behind the minivan, but the gunman got out of the car and circled, firing repeatedly while chasing after Salvatore, who rolled around in the street.

Prosecutors did not show the video during Salvatore’s direct testimony, which ended late Wednesday afternoon, and it was unclear if it would be used in evidence later in the trial.

The attack took place in front of a fortified complex called “Zottola’s Court” next to the Locust Point Yacht Club.

In an ironic twist, plaques hanging on houses there said, “Our foundation is built of love – our strength holds us together” and “Our walls are built thick – our love for everyone is thicker.”

Another Zottola sibling, teacher Debbie Zottola, was taking notes in the courtroom gallery during Salvatore’s testimony and repeatedly burst into tears.

“Zottola’s Court” is displayed on a building near the scene where Zottola was shot.
Brigitte Stelzer

“It’s a traumatizing experience. We were a very, very close family – my brothers, my father and I,” she said in court.

“We were an indestructible team. I love my two brothers and will always cherish what we have as a family.”

A total of 10 men were charged with conspiracy to murder in the case, with most, including Shelton, previously pleading guilty.

Anthony and his co-defendants faced the possibility of the death penalty in the alleged plot until December, when Attorney General Merrick Garland “authorized and directed” prosecutors not to seek the death penalty.

Salvatore "Sally Dasz" Zatolle
Salvatore “Sally Daz” Zottola was fatally shot in the Bronx in a McDonald’s drive-thru.
William Miller

Following that move, Anthony, who was jailed following his arrest on June 18, 2019, attempted to be released to electronic house arrest on seven-property secured bail of $4 million.

The bond was to be signed by Anthony, along with his wife, sister and brother-in-law, mother-in-law, his wife’s uncle and “lifelong friends,” according to court documents.

But Judge Raymond Dearie denied the request, writing: “Although circumstances have changed for the better for Mr Zottola, the realistic prospect of life imprisonment without parole following a post-trial conviction makes it impossible to change that of the court, such as.” the attorney strongly argued previous findings and order.” Trials pending for the killing of “Sally Daz” Zottola


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