This week, an elderly Brooklyn boutique owner was fatally shot, and police connected the murder to two other Brooklyn store owners who were killed in similar ways last summer. Cops confirmed that the same .22-caliber gun was used to kill all three shop owners. Police are now looking into several possible patterns that could further connect the murders: all three victims were older men (between late 50s to the late 70s); all three were of Middle Eastern origin; all three were working alone when they were attacked; and all three worked at stores with the number 8 in the address: “We’re definitely looking into the number-eight angle,” a law-enforcement source told the Post. “But we’re not any closer to solving the case because of it.”
On Friday, Vahidipour Rahmatollah, 78, was found with three gunshot wounds to the head and torso at She She Inc. in Flatbush around 7:20 p.m. Back in August, 59-year-old Isaac Kadare was found dead on the floor of Amazing 99 Cent Deals on 86th Street. Cops say the bullets that killed Rahmatollah and Kadare were from the same gun also used to kill 65-year-old Mohammed Gebeli inside Valentino Fashion Inc. in Bay Ridge on July 6. “Now it’s like he’s telling us, ‘It’s me again,’ ” a police source told the News.
Cash was stolen in the first two killings, but nothing was taken in the most recent slaying. “He could be some guy who has really done his homework. He may have read up on how to do this,” a law-enforcement source told the Post. “Professionals sometimes use .22s, which make less noise and, because it has less firepower, it does a lot of internal damage.”
Some are concerned about the possibility this is a hate crime spree: “I hope he’s not targeting owners because they’re Jewish or from the Middle East because that’s becoming personal,” Norman Mann, who owns the Cool Wear clothing store on Flatbush Ave. and hails from Israel, told the News. “That’s becoming hate. It’s not a normal holdup.”
Other Brooklyn store owners are worried about the idea that the shooter may be targeting people with the number 8 in their address: “My store has eight in the address. I just have to open my eyes bigger and bigger,” one store owner named Albert said. “We can’t lock the door. People see the door locked, they walk away.”