The suspect in the killing of Bay Ridge clothier Mohamed Gebeli, as well as two other Brooklyn shopkeepers, was indicted yesterday on first degree murder charges, as reported by CBS.
Salvatore Perrone, age 64, of Staten Island was arrested and charged by police just before Thanksgiving last week.
- Gebeli, the first victim, was found dead in his store Valentino Fashion [7718 5th Ave] on July 6. The mens clothing store owner was murdered with the same .22 caliber gun that would later be used in the other two killings.
- On Aug. 2, the body of Isaac Kadare was discovered in his shop – Amazing 99 Cents Deals [1877 86th St.] in Bensonhurst.
- The latest homicide occurred on Nov. 16, at the She She Boutique [836 Flatbush Ave] in Prospect Lefferts Gardens. As in the other two killings, store owner Rahmatollah Vahidipour was found fatally shot.
All three victims were of Middle Eastern descent [two of the victims were Jewish and one, Gebeli, was Muslim], as well as apparently alone in their stores at the time of the killings.
As police sought a motive during questioning, they reportedly tried to “bait” Perrone by bringing up the increasingly Middle Eastern makeup of Bay Ridge in order to root out whether the murders may have been hate crimes.
However, Perrone failed to indicate whether ethnicity was an issue. Even after the suspect confessed to two of the slayings last Wednesday, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly indicated that there was “still no motive he could speak of.”
Following the latest incident, police said Perrone was spotted in surveillance footage walking away from the murder scene with a duffel bag. He was later labeled “John Doe Duffel Bag” as police sought him for questioning.
Inside the bag, police reportedly found the sawed-off rifle used in the murders, in addition to women’s stockings, black gloves, a laser scope and two knives – one of which had what appeared to be blood stains.
Perrone, a Brooklyn native originally from Bensonhurst, is divorced and was living with a girlfriend. As a garment jobber he went store to store trying to sell clothes, Kelly told reporters. It is still unclear whether he had tried to solicit business from any of the victims.
Perrone was previously arrested in 2001 in Franconia, Pennsylvania. He had been accused of burglary and stalking an ex-girlfriend.