A serial killer named John Doe Duffel Bag kills three Middle Eastern shopowners in New York
The suspect believed to be a serial killer who is targeting shopowners of Middle Eastern descent who do not have video surveillence and are over 50. Source: Supplied
A SERIAL killer who carries a duffel bag is now believed to be behind the slayings of three shopowners of Middle Eastern descent.
The New York Police Department has called in the FBI to make up a profile of the suspect, who was seen on surveillance video running away from the scene of the latest of the three killings, the murder of Brooklyn, New York, shopowner Rahmatollah Vahidipour, an Iranian Jew.
The murder exacerbated the fear in business owners worried they will be next.
The 78-year-old Vahidipour was shot three times in the head and torso by a .22 calibre gun, the same as used in the other killings. His body was dragged to the back of the store and covered with merchandise, WABC reported.
"We're focused on the man with the duffel bag, mostly due to process of elimination,” the source told the New York Daily News.
NYPD said that shell casings from the gun match the casings found at the two other murders. In addition, the killings were within an 8km radius of each other, each occurred at a small shop that lacked security cameras and each victim was over 50, police said.
"We’re not sure of the motive," a police source told the New York Daily News. "Is it robbery and it's a coincidence that these victims all have a Middle Eastern background? It could be. ... Or, is this guy targeting men because he hates Muslims or hates Arabs?"
The NYPD released images of four “persons of interest” yesterday, but two of the people - a woman and a man chasing her - have been interviewed and cleared of any connection to the case.
The balding, middle-aged killer has struck three times in four months in Brooklyn, first killing clothing store owner Mohammed Gebeli, 65, 0n July 6, and then Isaac Kadare, 59, in his Amazing 99 Cents Deal shop on August 2.
A fourth person is an older woman who is also not believe to be connected to the crime. She is still being sought for questioning as a possible witness.
The same law enforcement source added Chief of Detectives Phil Pulaski asked the FBI if the agency could provide a criminal profiler to work with the NYPD in drawing up a portrait of the killer, who uses a .22 calibre pistol and is apparently targeting balding, middle aged men of Middle Eastern descent