By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Police are searching for a killer who shot a clothing store owner to death inside his Fifth Avenue shop on Friday night, a slaying that alarmed the normally safe community of Bay Ridge.
The victim, Mohammed Gebeli, 65, was shot once in the neck inside his shop, Valentino Fashion, a men’s clothing store at 7718 Fifth Ave., according to police.
Police said they have no suspects and no motive in the slaying.
Gebeli’s relatives went to the store shortly after 11 p.m. to look for him when he did not return to his 76th Street home after the store’s normal closing time at 7:30 p.m. When they arrived, they discovered Gebeli lying on the floor, unconscious.
Police said they responded to a 911 call at 11:13 p.m. and arrived at the scene, where they determined that Gebeli had been shot once in the neck. The victim was rushed to Lutheran Medical Center, but was pronounced dead on arrival, police said.
The shocking incident cast a dark cloud over an otherwise bright weekend, filled with fun activities.
During one such event — the Bay Ridge Arab-American Bazaar in Shore Road Park on Sunday — state Sen. Marty Golden announced that he was offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the cold-blooded killer. A few hours later, it was learned that Habib Joudeh, owner of Pharmacy on Fifth, a drugstore at 6914 Fifth Ave., had agreed to match Golden’s reward offer. Joudeh is putting up an additional $5,000.
“Mr. Gebeli was killed Friday night in an incident that has destroyed a family and has shocked a community. I am announcing this $5,000 reward today so to encourage anyone who may know something to help solve this case to contact the authorities,” Golden said.
“I thank local leader Habib Joudeh, of Pharmacy on Fifth, for matching the reward, which now stands at $10,000. Justice must be served in this case and we need the public’s help to see that happen. I trust that the New York City Police Department will continue to thoroughly investigate this murder and any leads available. My thoughts and prayers are with the Gebeli family.”
Anyone with information about the slaying is asked to call the 68th Precinct at (718) 439-4211.