Brooklyn Shopkeeper Killer Update: Person of interest sought in store murder, NYPD says

Surveillance video shows what NYPD says is a person of interest in connection to the serial slayings of three Brooklyn shopkeepers
New York Police Department
Surveillance video shows individual the NYPD is calling a person of interest in the murder of a Brooklyn store owner, Friday night, Nov. 16, 2012.
New York City Police Department

(CBS) - New York City police say they have identified a person of interest in connection with the slayings in recent months of three Middle Eastern shopkeepers who were fatally shot in their stores in Brooklyn, the New York Daily News reports.

A law enforcement source told the newspaper under condition of anonymity that police are focusing their attention on the suspect known as "John Doe Duffel Bag." Surveillance footage reportedly showed the person running away from where Rahmatollah Vahidipour was fatally shot in the head and torso Friday night inside his shop.

Detectives say the same gun used to kill Vahidipour was also used in the July slaying of 65-year-old Mohammed Gebeli and the August slaying of 59-year-old Isaac Kadare. All three victims were of Middle Eastern descent and their stores were within a 5-mile radius of each other.

The NYPD initially had four persons of interest Sunday night, the Daily News reported. Two were interviewed and cleared of any connection to the case while another is still being sought for questioning as a possible witness.

The law enforcement source told the newspaper that the NYPD has called in the FBI to provide a criminal profiler who can draw up a portrait of the killer.

Police believe the killer uses a .22 caliber pistol and is apparently targeting balding, middle aged men of Middle Eastern descent, the newspaper reported.

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Nov. 19, 2012 - Brooklyn Serial Killer: Gunman sought in three shopkeeper slayings, NYPD says