A 67-year-old Staten Island man was convicted Wednesday of murdering three Brooklyn shopkeepers of Middle Eastern descent in a five-month 2012 killing spree.
Salvatore Perrone was convicted of three counts of second-degree murder and faces up to 75 years to life, the Brooklyn District Attorney said.
The serial killer, a former salesman, was linked to the three murders through matching shell casings left in all crime scenes, and through DNA and other forensic evidence, Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson announced.
‘A mountain of evidence connected this serial killer to these murders, which took the lives of three decent, honest and hard-working business owners who all left behind devastated families,’ Thompson said in a statement.
‘Thankfully, this ruthless and cold-blooded killer will now spend the rest of his life locked behind bars and Brooklyn will be much safer because of that.’
Perrone was convicted after a jury trial in front of the Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Alan Marrus and will be sentenced on March 4.
The three murders were committed during a five-month period in 2012. All victims were male shopkeepers of Middle Eastern descent, who were shot to death in the Brooklyn stores where they worked.
The first victim, 65-year-old Mohamed Gebeli, was shot in the neck inside his store Valentino Fashion in Bay Ridge on July 6, 2012.
Almost two months later, Isaac Kadare, 59, was shot in the head and then had his throat slit inside the Amazing 99 Cents Deals store in Bensonhurst on August 2, 2012.
On November 6, 2012, Rahmatollah Vahidipour, 78, was shot in the head, face and chest inside the She-She Boutique in Flatbush.
After the third murder Perrone was captured on surveillance footage carrying a black duffel bag near the crime scene. The then-unknown murderer was dubbed ‘John Doe Duffel Bags’ by police.
Perrone was arrested on November 21, 2012. A subsequent search of his girlfriend’s apartment revealed the duffel bag hidden behind a couch.
The bag contained the weapon used in all three murders, a .22-caliber rifle with Perrone’s DNA on it, and the knife used to cut Kadare’s throat with the victim’s blood still present.
The blood of the third victim was also found splattered on the bag.
Perrone was further incriminated by cell phone data and security footage that indicated he was in the areas near the second and third murder scenes when those killings occurred.