Serial killer stalks the shopworkers of New York

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The Independent US

Shopkeepers in the New York City boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn fear for their lives after a fatal shooting that may be the work of a serial killer.

Shopkeepers in the New York City boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn fear for their lives after a fatal shooting that may be the work of a serial killer.

Detectives are cautiously linking Thursday's shooting, which left one man dead and his assistant critically injured, with as many as four killings of shopkeepers in the two boroughs since early February. In all cases, the gunman left without attempting to take any money.

A man walked into the Stop II Market in Brooklyn just after 10am, turned on the shopkeeper sitting two feet away and shot him in the head. He then poked his gun through a security plexiglass window and fired at the assistant, who was still in critical condition yesterday.

The dead man was identified as Muhammad Ali Nassir, who had been sending money home to his two wives and 12 children in his native Yemen.

Police would not confirm speculation that all of the killings were the work of a single assailant. In a confusing development, bullet casings found at the site of Thursday's shooting showed that the gun used was not the same type as in the earlier incidents. But while the guns were different, the manner of the attacks appeared to be the same.

Efforts are being made to compile an image of the suspect from witness descriptions and shop surveillance cameras, but officials said that video cameras installed in the Stop II Market had stopped working several weeks ago. However, they said that the gunman involved in another fatal attack on 10 March in a Brooklyn coin-operated laundry was black and about 5ft 8 in tall.

Of the five people killed in the separate attacks, four were immigrants. One victim was from Guyana while another was identified as Indian.

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