NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A 78-year-old man working inside a Brooklyn clothing store was shot and killed Friday night, and police found the shooter used same .22-caliber gun as was used in two earlier shopkeeper slayings.
TheÂ murders have been dubbed the “Numbers Murders,” because the number eight appears in all three addresses.
The latest shooting happened around 7:15 p.m. Friday at the She She Boutique, at 836 Flatbush Ave. in the Prospect Lefferts Gardens section of Brooklyn.
Officers responding to a 911 call found the victim unconscious and unresponsive with a gunshot wound to the head, police said. Paramedics also responded, and the victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police believe he was the owner of the store.
The New York Post reported police said Rahmatollah was shot while at the counter, and was then dragged into the back of the store where the shooter covered his body up with clothes.
“Last night, I didn’t sleep. I couldn’t get over it. Why would someone do such a thing?” he said. “We know people are being rough.”
Police have linked the case to the murders of two other shopkeepers in Brooklyn this summer.
The New York Post reported police believe the incidents may have been based on the victims’ addresses, since they all include the number eight.
On July 6, clothing-store owner Mohamed Gebeli was killed inside Valentino Fashion at 7718 5th Avenue in Bay Ridge.
On Aug. 2,Â Jewish owner Isaac Kadare was found dead at his Amazing 99 Cents Deal shop at 1877 86th Street in Bensonhurst.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said in both earlier instances, the victims’ bodies were covered with materials from the businesses – such as boxes, baking dishes and clothing.
The same .22-caliber gun was used in the latest incident as the two earlier crimes, police said Saturday.
“The shell casings that we recovered yesterday matched the shell casings — the .22-caliber shell casings — we found at those two other crime scenes, so that would indicate that the same gun, if not the same person, had been used in all three homicides,” NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Brown told WCBS 880.
Rewards of $22,000 have been offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction in all three homicides. Anyone with information is asked to call the Crimestoppers hotline at (800) 577-TIPS.
Source: CBS 2 NY