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Southern Brooklyn’s shopkeeper killer is back — and investigators believe an unassuming man seen at two of the three crime scenes may have answers to all of their questions.
Police say the man who gunned down two merchants in the summer struck again on Friday, killing 78-year-old Flatbush clothing store owner Vahidipour Rahmatollah in his Flatbush Avenue shop.
Cops were using footage from neighborhood surveillance cameras to try to find a witness to the slaying when they say they found a man they had seen before.
Sources told the New York Post that a balding, mustachioed man toting a duffle bag was seen on Friday, as well as on 86th Street in August after 99-Cent store owner Isaac Kadare, 59, was shot to death — making him the NYPD’s top “person of interest.”
Ballistic tests confirmed that the same gun was used in Rahmatollah’s killing, as well as he murders of Kadare and Bay Ridge clothing merchant Mohammed Gebeli in July.
“It was a positive match to those recovered at the two other crime scenes this past summer,” NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said in a statement.
Cops were dispatched to She She Inc. near Linden Boulevard, at 7:17 pm after Rahmatollah was found dead inside his store.
The senior had been shot in the head — a killing that quickly brought back memories of the slaying of Kadare.
An autopsy revealed that Kadare had died from a bullet to the skull — a bullet fired from the same .22-caliber gun that killed Gebeli in his Bay Ridge clothing store. Gebeli had been shot in the neck, police sources say.
Detectives had put together a sketch of the man they believe killed Kadare and Gebeli, and had a line on two possible witnesses to the crime, yet no one has been charged with the two murders.
Police sources say that Rahmatollah had been shot behind the counter, dragged about 10 feet and covered up with items from the store — the same way that one of the two earlier victims had been found.
Cops are currently offering a $40,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and indictment of the suspect.
Anyone with information regarding these three murders is urged to contact the NYPD CrimeStoppers hotline at (800) 577–8477.Reach Deputy Editor Thomas Tracy at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (718) 260-2525.
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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