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Garment salesman indicted in shopkeeper deaths

November 27, 2012 5:14:09 PM PST
A grand jury has indicted a garment salesman accused of systematically shooting three shopkeepers to death as they worked alone in their New York City clothing stores.

The Brooklyn District Attorney's office said Staten Island resident Salvatore Perrone was indicted on three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of second-degree murder. He faces life in prison if convicted.

Perrone was taken into custody last week in the suspected serial killings. 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.

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.

Initially, authorities thought the killer might have targeted the Brooklyn shopkeepers, who were from Iran and Egypt, because of their Middle Eastern backgrounds. But Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said there was no motive he could speak of.

The other killings happened in July and August.

A defense lawyer has said Perrone denies killing anyone.

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