Suspect arrested in slayings of three New York City merchants

Raquel Erhard – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

New York, NY, United States (4E) – Police have detained a 63-year-old man in the fatal shooting of three New York City shopkeepers Wednesday.

According to Commissioner Raymond Kelly, Salvatore E. Perrone, a clothes dealer to boutiques in Brooklyn, was arrested after ballistics tests revealed the .22-caliber rifle discovered in his duffel bag has been used in the three crimes.

The suspect is charged with three counts of murder and could face life in prison if convicted.

Investigators found the duffel bag in the house of Perrone’s girlfriend Wednesday morning and located the rifle with a sawed-off stock and a combined laser/flashlight fixed to its barrel with a duct tape and pink rubber bands.

A box of .22-caliber long-rifle ammunition, an empty magazine and a 12-inch kitchen knife with dried blood on it, plus two Buck folding knives, each with 7-inch blades, were also recovered by detectives.

The weapon was used by Perrone to murder 78-year-old Vahidipour Rahmatollah at She-She boutique on November 16; 59-year-old Isaac Kadare at Amazing 99-Cent Deals on August 2; and 65-year-old Mohamed Gebeli on July 6 at Valentino Fashion in Brooklyn.

No motive was provided for the killings but Kelly said they presume that the suspect was “going to continue doing this and by arresting him, we have saved lives.”

Kelly revealed that after Perrone’s photograph was publicized, several proprietors of similar stores called and informed them that the man is a salesman who visits their stores periodically.

He was seen at a pharmacy in Brooklyn Tuesday evening and agreed to come to the precinct for questioning.

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