Investigators did not reveal a motive for the shootings, although all three victims were Middle Easterners.
A search for a suspected serial killer began after bullets that killed She She Boutique shopkeeper Rahmatollah Vahidipour, an Iranian, were matched to two earlier shootings.
Same Gun Used in All 3 Shootings
Ballistic evidence matched the same gun to the shooting of Mohamed Gebeli, an Egyptian, on July 6 and Isaac Kadare, also an Egyptian, on Aug. 6. All victims were working alone in their garment stores near closing time when the shootings occurred.
Police released a video tape of a man they called "John Doe Duffel Bag" who was spotted near two of the shops around the time of the shootings. Perrone, a garment salesman, was recognized in the video by a pharmacist who notified police.
A later search of the apartment of Perrone's 60-year-old girlfriend turned up the black duffel bag containing a sawed-off .22 rifle, ammunition, an empty magazine, two 7-inch knives and a bloody kitchen knife. Police said Perrone's fingerprints were on the gun.
Serial Killer Stopped?
NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Perrone was a serial killer.
"I think it's reasonable to assume that he was going to continue doing this, and, by arresting him, we saved lives," he said. "We know that he went to other locations, and asked questions that indicated that. Now that we look at them, he may very well have been planning to come back."
Although police said Perrone talked freely about the shootings for hours before suddenly going quiet, his court-appointed attorney said he denied making any statements to police.
"He does seem that he could have some mental-health issues," said attorney Ken Jones, "He denies all the allegations. He denies making any incriminating statements."
'Son of Sal'
Staten Island neighbors of Perrone told reporters that he was a difficult neighbor, often reporting them to authorities for minor violations. One neighbor called him insane. They joking referred to him as "Son of Sal" because he was "creepy and annoying."
"He'd always try to scare you with threats -- 'I'll call the police, the Buildings Department, sanitation.' He'd say he'd take you out, but he never said he'd do it himself," one neighbor told reporters.
Perrone was arraigned on one first-degree murder charge and three second-degree murder charges.
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