By Dexter Keyton, EnStars | Nov 20, 2012 03:21 PM EST
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Police in New York are on a manhunt for a possible serial killer on the loose.
Three shopkeepers have been killed within the past five months which has led to an investigation to see if the incidents are linked to one killer.
The latest slaying took place on Friday at the She She Boutique in the Flatbush area of Brooklyn where 78-year-old Rahmatollah Vahidipour was fatally shot three times, according to NBC News.
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Police Commissioner Ray Kelly appeared on NY1 television to appeal to any witnesses saying, "We're asking anyone who was a customer in that store on that Friday to come forward, even if it was in the morning hours."
The reason the New York City Police Department suspects a possible serial killer is due to the fact that the same .22 caliber gun was used to kill the three victims. Further speculation has risen regarding if these are hate crimes since the three storekeepers were all of Middle Eastern descent.
Kelly elaborated on the recent shooting: "We believe that this murder took place after 4:00 pm, but even if you were there in the morning we'd like to have people come forward and make themselves available to us."
Currently the main motive is simply robbery, but the similarities are leading investigators to consider all possible theories. Police have found that the number eight has been present at each of the three addresses, but it's unknown at this time if the killer has an obsession with the number or if it's just a coincidence.
All of the incidents so far took place around Brooklyn. The first known shooting occurred on July 6, at the Valentino Fashion in Bay Ridge. The second murder occurred on August 2, at the Amazing 99 Cents Deal Shop in Bensonhurst.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is helping to determine if this is indeed the work of a serial killer.
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