Tonight police arrested the man they referred to as "John Doe Duffle Bag" for the three killings of Brooklyn shop owners. Salvatore Perrone, 63, a Staten Island resident, was charged with three counts of murder and three counts of criminal possession of a weapon—a .22-caliber sawed-off rifle found in his girlfriend's Brooklyn apartment was the weapon used in the shootings. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said in a press conference that Perrone "made statements implicating himself, and after the .22-caliber rifle he used in the slayings was recovered from his duffel bag and subjected to ballistic tests."

The three victims were all older men who owned small Brooklyn clothing stores: Mohamed Gebeli, 65, was killed in his store, Valentino Fashion in Bay Ridge, on July 6; Isaac Kadare, 59, was killed on August 2 at amazing 99-cent deals in Bensonhurst; and last Friday, Rahamatollah Vahidipourlast was killed at She-She Boutique in Flatbush. Kelly said, "Perrone was an independent seller of men’s and women’s apparel who called on small merchants in Brooklyn. After his photograph was circulated, we received several calls from proprietors of similar stores to inform us that they recognized Perrone as a salesman who would periodically visit their stores." The Post characterized him as a "struggling... salesman who peddles clothing from a duffel bag."

According to the Daily News, his neighbors called Perrone the "son of Sal" because "he lives in an unfinished, unkempt home and often calls various city agencies to report his neighbors’ trash-can violations and building irregularities."

Police have not revealed any motive, though they had been exploring how all the shop owners' businesses had 8 in the address and how all victims were Middle Eastern. NYPD sources told the Staten Island Advance that Perrone claimed he was trying to "promote world peace."

Kelly said, “I think it’s reasonable to assume he was going to continue doing this. By arresting him, we have saved lives. We know that he went to other locations and asked questions that indicated … that he very well planned to come back." Luckily, a tip helped police. From Kelly's remarks:

Perrone was recognized yesterday at a pharmacy in Bay Ridge, and voluntarily agreed to accompany responding officers to the station house. Detectives obtained a warrant to search Perrone’s duffel bag, which was found at his girlfriend’s apartment. It was the same bag that Perrone was seen carrying in videotaped images of him in the vicinity of the most recent homicide.

When crime scene detectives searched the bag early this morning, they found the carbine with a sawed-off stock, and a combination laser/flashlight attached to its barrel with duct tape and two, thick pink rubber bands. It had a single live round in the chamber. They also recovered a box of 22-caliber long-rifle ammunition, an empty magazine, and a 12-inch kitchen knife with dried blood on it. Detectives also found two Buck folding knives, each with seven-inch blades.


The carbine had originally been shipped by the manufacturer in 1977 to a federal firearms dealer in Manhattan known then as Biddle Purchasing, which is no longer in business.

Kelly thanked the tipster who led them to Perrone, "That individual does not want to be identified. But I want nonetheless to commend his vigilance and civic-mindedness, as well as all the others who called with useful information. We also appreciate the media’s cooperation in circulating Perrone’s photograph."