A Great Neck grandfather killed on Friday night in a women's clothing store he owned in Brooklyn was remembered Saturday as a quiet and hardworking man who was deeply devoted to his family.
Rahmatollah Vahidipour, 78, was gunned down in his Flatbush Avenue boutique She-She shortly after 7 p.m., New York City Police said. The shooting has been linked to the killings of two other shopkeepers in Brooklyn this summer, detectives said.
Vahidipour, a married father of three daughters and nine grandchildren, immigrated to the United States from Iran 23 years ago, said Robert Ainehsazan, a friend and neighbor of the family. Vahidipour has lived in Great Neck since.
"He was a hardworking man who opened and closed the store every day," said Ainehsazan, who has known the family for two decades. "It's very sad and very shocking. We are going through a crisis here. We hope we can find the person responsible for this."
Vahidipour was found dead in his store after suffering three gunshot wounds to the head and torso, police said.
Ballistic tests show the .22-caliber gun used in the killing was also used in two similar shootings on July 6 and Aug. 2 in Brooklyn, according to police. There have been no arrests.
Family members declined to comment Saturday at the Vahidipour's two-story brick home. But neighbors said Vahidipour and his wife, Naima, were observant Jews who were friendly but typically kept to themselves.
"It's really hard to believe," said Donald Citak, 55, who has lived next to Vahidipour for 20 years. "It's just a senseless tragedy."
At the Chabad of Great Neck, where the Vahidipours were longtime members, congregants said they were shocked to learn of the murder. "He was an honest and sincere man," said Rabbi Yoseph Geisinsky. "He always did the right thing."
A reward of $22,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible is being offered in each of the killings, police said. Anyone with information about them may call the Crime Stoppers hotline anonymously at 800-577-TIPS.
With Candice Ferrette