"Now it's like he's telling us, 'It's me again,'" said one police officer after Rahmatolla Vahidipour was found shot by the same .22-caliber gun as two other victims in his Flatbush boutique Friday night.
With two similar killings in July and August, it now appears that the gunman is targeting older male store owners of Middle Eastern descent, and the Bodega Association of the U.S. has sent out copies of the sketch to members. “The only members that we would be concerned about are the Middle Easterners,” said an Association Official.
Additionally, all three store addresses include the number 8 and police believe the suspect may have some kind of interest in numerology.
Given that all three victims were shot around closing time, some store owners are now taking precautions and closing up early, and one told the Daily News, “It doesn’t matter if you’re black, white, Mediterranean, it’s a bad thing. I’m just being more aware of the door and make sure the cameras are working. And what else?"
Terrible. So, if you happen to have information, come forward with it, and otherwise, just be careful out there.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.