BROOKLYN, N.Y. (PIX11)—Police continue to hunt for the so-called "Number 8 Killer," the man they suspect is behind the murders of three Brooklyn shopkeepers, two of them gunned down over the summer.
Rahmatollah Vahidipour, 78, of Woodbourne Road in Great Neck, Long Island., was buried Sunday, according to Jewish custom -- this as detectives try to catch his killer, before he claims another life.
A $22,000 reward is being offered for the arrest and conviction of the shooter.
Vahidipour was gunned down Friday night while working at his clothing store in Flatbush. Police say the same .22-caliber gun was used in the three killings, now being dubbed the "Numbers Murders," because the number "8" is part of the addresses, where the victims were shot and killed.
NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Brown told WCBS 880: "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," he pointed out.
According to investigators, the murder took place some time around 7:15 p.m. at the She She Boutique at 834 Flatbush Ave. Police arrived at the scene, after getting a 911 call about a man, who turned out to be Vahidipour, unconscious and unresponsive with a gunshot to the head. He never made it to the hospital; Emergency Medical Technicians pronounced him dead at the scene.
A report in the New York Post says Vahidipour was shot behind the counter, and dragged into a back room, where his killer covered him with clothes.
The first murder took place July 6 in Bay Ridge, where shopkeeper Mohamed Gebeli ,65, was gunned down inside Valentino Fashion at 7718 5th Ave. The second killing occurred nearly a month later on Aug. 2 in Bensonhurst, where business owner Issac Kadare, 59, was found dead inside Amazing 99 Cents Deal Shop at 1877 86th St. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Gebelli and Kadare were found with materials from their businesses -- like clothing, baking dishes and boxes -- covering them.
If you can provide investigators with any clues, please call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS. All calls are kept confidential. You can also contact police by texting TIP577 to CRIMES, or by going to CrimeStoppers