NEW YORK (AP) – A garment salesman accused of systematically shooting three shopkeepers to death as they worked alone in their clothing stores was held without bail Thursday.
Salvatore Perrone, who was held after his initial Brooklyn court appearance on murder charges, denies killing anyone, his lawyer said.
Attorney Ken Jones, who represented Perrone only for the arraignment and hadn’t spent much time with him, said his client shows no remorse and appears “as though he could have some mental-health issues.”
Perrone, of Staten Island, will be assigned another lawyer when he returns to court on Tuesday, prosecutors said.
Perrone was taken into custody Wednesday in the suspected serial killings, which scores of detectives were investigating. A pharmacy worker recognized Perrone, 63, as the balding man shown in surveillance footage leaving the scene of the most recent shooting, on Nov. 16, with a duffel bag, police said.
Another shopkeeper came forward and said Perrone had gone into his store and questioned him about whether he worked alone and when he closed, police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.
“It’s reasonable to assume he was going to keep doing this, and, by arresting him, we saved lives,” Kelly said.
Detectives said they found the duffel bag at Perrone’s girlfriend’s home. Inside, they said, was a sawed-off rifle used in the killings, along with .22-caliber ammunition, black gloves, women’s clothing, a bloody knife and a bottle of bleach.
Perrone’s fingerprint was lifted from the murder weapon, Kelly said.
Initially, authorities thought the killer might have targeted the Brooklyn shopkeepers, who were from Iran and Egypt, because of their Middle Eastern backgrounds. But on Wednesday, Kelly said there was no motive he could speak of.
In the most recent killing, Rahmatollah Vahidipour, an Iranian, was shot three times in the head and chest at the She She Boutique.
After that killing, detectives discovered the same gun was used in the fatal shootings of two other shopkeepers when ballistics matched the .22-caliber gun shell casings on all three. On July 6, Mohamed Gebeli, an Egyptian, was found shot at Valentino Fashion Inc. On Aug. 6, Isaac Kadare, also Egyptian, was shot in the head at Amazing 99 Cent Deal.
There were other similarities in the deaths, authorities said: The bodies were all partially obscured, by clothing or, in one case, a box. The locations of the shops form an equilateral triangle and are about 4 miles apart, with addresses that contain the number eight.
Police earlier this week said they were looking to speak to four people who possibly witnessed the most recent killing and released video and clear images of the four. But they zeroed in on the man with the bag, who they now say was Perrone.
Police said they believe Perrone carried the murder weapon in the bag and traveled by subway.
Perrone, a Brooklyn native, is divorced and lives with his girlfriend. He went store to store trying to sell clothing, police said, but it was unclear if he had tried to sell to any of the victims.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas