Although he was taken to the hospital, Puglisi was unable to be revived and died of his injuries.
"This is a Mafia crime," Lorenzo Matassa, an investigating magistrate with broad anti-Mafia experience, told the New York Times in 1993. "Cosa Nostra could not stand that priest's teaching the kids in the neighborhood about an anti-Mafia culture."
One of Puglisi's hitmen, Salvatore Grigoli, later confessed, revealing that the martyr's final words were "I've been expecting you."
His martyrdom further galvanized the Catholic Church in Sicily to act and speak out against the mob and five years after his death four Mafia members received life sentences for their involvement in the murder.
Declared a martyr by Benedict XVI in 2012 and beatified in 2013, he is buried in the cemetery of Sant'Orsola in Palermo.
Pope Francis spoke about Puglisi the day after his beatification during his Angelus address, calling him a "martyr" and an "exemplary priest."
By teaching boys about the Gospel of Christ, Puglisi saved them from the "criminal underworld," which retaliated by killing him, Francis said. Though in fact, it was Puglisi "who won, with the Risen Christ."
Francis criticized the Mafia for its exploitation of men, women, and children through prostitution, social pressure, and forced jobs. "Let us pray to the Lord to convert the heart of these people," he said. "They cannot do this! They cannot make slaves of us, brothers and sisters!"
"We must pray that these members of the Mafia be converted to God and let us praise God for the luminous witness borne by Fr. Giuseppe Puglisi."