Nov 23, 2012 12:44 AM by Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) - A garment salesman accused of systematically shooting three shopkeepers to death as they worked alone in their New York City clothing stores is denying the charges against him.
Staten Island resident Salvatore Perrone (pehr-OHN') was held without bail Thursday after his initial Brooklyn court appearance. He was arrested Wednesday on murder charges.
A defense lawyer says Perrone denies killing anyone.
Police recovered a bag containing a sawed-off rifle. They say Perrone appeared on surveillance footage carrying the bag moments after the most recent shooting, Nov. 16.
The other killings happened in July and August. All three shopkeepers were men from Iran or Egypt.
Authorities initially thought the killer might have targeted them because of their Middle Eastern backgrounds. But police Commissioner Raymond Kelly says there's no motive he can speak of.