The serial killer known as “Son of Sal” has been found guilty of three counts of second-degree murder for the shooting deaths of three Brooklyn shopkeepers in 2012, according to District Attorney Ken Thompson’s office.
Salvatore Perrone, 67, faces the maximum sentence of 75 years to life in prison at his sentencing, which is scheduled for Friday, March 4.
As this paper previously reported, the Bensonhurst native, who had moved to Staten Island, shot his first victim, Mohamed Gebeli, in the neck inside of his store – Valentino’s Fashion in Bay Ridge on July 6, 2012. Isaac Kadare, Perrone’s second victim, was also shot in his store, Amazing 99 Cent Deals and Up, in Bensonhurst on August 2, 2012. The final victim, Rahmatollah Vahidipour, was gunned down in his Flatbush business, She She Boutique, on November 16, 2012.
All three men ran family-owned businesses and were shot with the same .22 caliber gun, just before closing time.
“A mountain of evidence connected this serial killer to these murders, which took the lives of three decent, honest and hard-working business owners who all left behind devastated families,” said Thompson. “Thankfully, this ruthless and cold-blooded killer will now spend the rest of his life locked behind bars and Brooklyn will be much safer because of that.”
According to reports, Perrone – who, after several psychiatric evaluations, was deemed fit to stand trial but unfit to represent himself in May of last year – was not present for the verdict reading, as he had been thrown out of the courtroom earlier for a disorderly outburst.
Just weeks before his May, 2015 hearing, Perrone called this newspaper from the Kirby Psychiatric Center on Wards Island, where he had been confined since being declared unfit to stand trial in December, 2014.
In a rambling statement, Perrone contended that there had been, “Threats and intimidation of all defense witnesses,” as well as that, “There is evidence that will show that I was elsewhere when the three crimes took place.” He also repeatedly contended that the judge’s signature on the search warrant that turned up evidence being used against him was “forged.” He learned this, he asserted, because “someone provided me with inside information.”
That evidence connecting Perrone to the crimes, discovered at an apartment in Midwood where he frequently stayed, included a duffle bag that had a .22-caliber rifle inside it that ballistics experts have tied to spent shells found at the three crime scenes, as well as a knife covered in blood stains that matched Kadare. Blood stains that matched Vahidipour were found on the bag itself.
Prior to Perrone’s November, 2012 arrest, the NYPD had released videos of someone cops dubbed John Doe Duffle Bag who had been caught on surveillance video just after 6 p.m. on the day of the third murder at two locations near the crime scene.
Additional reporting by Anna Spivak and Helen Klein