NY police arrest alleged serial killer

2012-11-22 14:00
Salvatore Perrone. (Franconia Township Police Department/ AP)

Salvatore Perrone. (Franconia Township Police Department/ AP)

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New York - New York police announced on Wednesday the arrest of an alleged serial killer who gunned down three storekeepers of Middle Eastern descent in the city over the last five months.

Salvatore Perrone, aged 63, was charged with three counts of murder following his arrest, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told a news conference.

Perrone, a small-time clothing salesman whose face had been plastered across the New York media this week, was recognised at a pharmacy in Brooklyn and quietly surrendered to responding police.

Kelly said Perrone  had made statements implicating himself and that the .22 calibre rifle he used in the slayings was recovered from his duffel bag at his girlfriend's apartment.

"Tests indicated that the shell cases found at the three crime scenes were fired from Perrone's rifle. Perrone's finger prints were also lifted from the murder weapon."

As police zeroed in on Perrone, they had circulated camera footage that showed the suspect carrying a bag. He was quickly dubbed "John Doe Duffle Bag" and Kelly said that several clothing store keepers phoned in to say they had seen him before.

After his arrest and the search of the bag, officers found not only the loaded, sawn-off rifle, but ammunition, two large folding knives and "a 12 inch kitchen knife with dried blood on it", Kelly said.

The last slaying was of Rahmatollah Vahidipour late on Friday in the She She Boutique in the working class Flatbush area of Brooklyn. The 78-year-old had been shot three times.

The other victims died on 6 July and 2 August in different areas of Brooklyn.

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