New York City police have found a rifle and ammunition in a duffle bag belonging to a man being questioned in connection with the shooting deaths of three Middle Eastern shopkeepers in the past five months, a law enforcement official said Wednesday.
The suspect, dubbed “John Doe Duffel Bag” because of the bag he carries in a security video from one murder scene, was identified as a struggling salesman from Staten Island with a rap sheet of mostly minor arrests, the New York Post reported.
“He’s always up to no good. He doesn’t want anybody to know where he’s going,” a neighbor told the Post.
Sources told the paper that the man has prior arrests in Pennsylvania in 2001 for burglary, harassment and stalking.
The .22 caliber bullets are consistent with ballistics tests on the shell casings found at the scenes of all three murders, according to the official, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation.
The bag also contained two knives, “one of which appeared to have blood on it,” a pair of black gloves and women’s stockings, the official said.
Police said the suspect turned himself in to detectives, the New York Daily News reported.
“We’re talking to somebody who fits the description of the man in the (video). He came in voluntarily,” said NYPD spokesman Paul Browne.
Police located and began interviewing the man - labeled “John Doe Duffel Bag” due to the bag he was seen carrying on a security video - on Tuesday. The man was spotted near the scene of the latest attack on Nov. 16.
Early Wednesday morning, investigators discovered a Ruger 10-22 rifle with a sawed-off stock, or handle, and what was described as an “improvised combination laser/light attached to its barrel” in a duffel bag belonging to the man, whose identity has not been disclosed, the official said.