A possible suspect has been identified in the murder this past Thursday night of Isaac Kadare, a 59-year-old religiously devout Flatbush resident, who was found dead in his Bensonhurst store.
According to the New York Police Department, ballistic tests have revealed that the .22-caliber bullet found in Kadare’s head came from the same gun that was used to murder another storeowner in Bay Ridge last month. The police have released a sketch of the suspect, an Hispanic male, and are circulating it among local proprietors to keep them on the alert.
According to reports, two customers entered Kadare’s 99-cent store at 1877 86th Street at 8:45 PM on Thursday and discovered Kadare lying bleeding and in an unconscious state. Medical personnel immediately arriving at the scene determined that he had sustained a trauma to his head. Subsequent medical analysis determined that in addition to the blunt force, Kadare was shot in the head.
On July 6, friends of 65-year-old Mohamed Gebeli found his body inside the store he operated, Valentino Fashion on 5th Avenue in Bay Ridge. Gebeli had sustained a gunshot wound to his neck, and was pronounced dead at the scene. In addition to the duplicated bullet, authorities have other evidence linking the two crimes. “In both cases the bodies were found in the aisles of the store and covered in certain ways,” said NYPD spokesman Paul Browne.
Witnesses have reported seeing a disturbed man near Kadare’s store at about the same time the incident occurred. They said that the man, who appeared to be approximately 5-foot-5 and 140 pounds, entered Kadare’s store wearing a ski mask, while holding a gun and a knife. One witness felt that the suspect may be disturbed, as he seemed to be talking to himself. “He was talking about putting a bullet in someone’s head,” Browne said the witness recalled.
“I don’t even know what to say. He loved his family, his four kids,” Kadare’s wife Nurit tearfully told the New York Post. Mrs. Kadare was expecting to celebrate her husband’s birthday with him this week. “He was a really hard-working man, I don’t get it,” she added. “A person is alive one day, and the next they are not.”
Originally from Egypt, Kadare had later lived in Israel, and then moved to the United States thirty years ago. His brother-in-law said that the beloved businessman studied the Talmud on a daily basis. “He was a good man with a good heart,” the relative commented to the Daily News. “He worked very hard all his life.”
A neighbor of the store, Margarita Roman, revealed that Kadare had bought the building housing it eleven years ago.
Kadare’s four children, who are all devastated by his sudden death, are Estelle; Clemie; Mark, aged 19; and Rahel, age 8. “His family is always there,” Roman said. “His kids are always there. His wife is always there. They weren’t there tonight.” The family came to the store as soon as they heard the shocking news. “The wife looked lost. The little girl was just hysterical. She didn’t know what was happening,’’ another neighbor stated. “They wanted to go into the store but they weren’t allowed.”
Kadare regularly prayed at Congregation Ahaba Ve Ahava on Shabbat, a Sephardic congregation on Ocean Parkway near Kings Highway, and frequently participated in local shiurim; he was particularly fond of the Saturday night lectures given by Rabbi Eli Mansour. His funeral on Friday afternoon was attended by many of his friends and neighbors. State Senator Marty Golden, as well as the Sephardic Community Federation in conjunction with Councilman David Greenfield, are each offering a $5,000 reward for any information that can lead to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator of this crime. Anyone with relevant information is urged to call 1-800-577-TIPS.