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Grocery slayings in Qns, Bklyn may be linked: Cops

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Police said they would not rule out that four separate murders - one in Ozone Park, another in Jamaica and two in Brooklyn - were connected and possibly committed by the same suspects who may have been targeting personnel at city grocery and deli stores.

A spokeswoman from the New York Police Department's public information department said Tuesday that two Feb. 8 shootings - one in Ozone Park and one in Brooklyn - have been connected and that details of the other two incidents would continue to be examined.

"Right now they're being looked at as three separate incidents. However, they're all still under investigation," the police officer said.

That means that the Feb. 8 deaths of John Freddy, 43, a customer at the Central Mini Market at 76-20 Liberty Ave. in Ozone Park and Sukhjit Khajaia, a Brooklyn store owner, have been linked to the same suspects, police said. The Queens crime took place in the 106th Precinct, while the Brooklyn shooting was in the 63rd Precinct.

The other Queens killing being examined for a possible connection to the other three crimes is the Feb. 1 shooting of Mohammed Alamgir, 38, who was murdered at his grocery store at 153-52 Hillside Ave. in Jamaica. That shooting was in the 103rd Precinct.

The fourth shooting, in the 75th Precinct, took place March 1 in Brooklyn where store manager Marc Zanichelli, 37, died from a gunshot wound to the head at 263 Hendrix St. in East New York.

Cops said Freddy, a regular customer at the Central Mini Market at 76-20 Liberty Ave., was pronounced dead when police arrived at the scene at 6:49 a.m. a month ago. Cops said the preliminary investigation found that one suspect distracted the clerk by asking him for items in the store while the other one was responsible for shooting Freddy one time in the head.

Police said at the time of the slaying the store clerk ran down the store stairs into the basement and called 911 to alert authorities. Freddy worked at the Associated Supermarket across the street as the manager of the store's dairy department.

Cops held a news conference following the two Feb. 8 crimes, but had not linked them to any others at the time. They offered a reward for information leading to the capture of the suspects, who were depicted in police composite sketches.

Reach reporter Alex Davidson by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or by phone at 1-718-229-0300, Ext. 156

Posted 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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