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Shooting death of South Hackensack store owner still a mystery

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

ALERT: Authorities today turned to the public for a second time for help solving the murder of a South Hackensack store owner from Rockland County who was found shot six times in the head at his Route 46 shop two months ago.

Richard Zarriello of Chestnut Ridge in Ramapo was found “lying in a pool of blood inside” his Clean Sweep Chimney Depot early the night of April 12, a Sunday, after South Hackensack police were asked to conduct a welfare check on him, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said.

He’d been shot “multiple times,” the prosecutor said.

“The investigation to date has focused on many things, including witnesses who were in the area, video surveillance footage from area businesses surrounding the crime scene and forensic testing of evidence left behind at the scene,” Molinelli said today.

Although robbery hasn’t officially been ruled out, the way in which the 51-year-old Zarriello was killed leads authorities to believe that he was targeted.

“It looked like someone tried to silence him,” one source told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .

“He was still breathing when [paramedics] got there,” another said. “But he was in very grave condition.”

Zarriello, who may have been shot the day before, remained on life support at Hackensack University Medical Center until 3:45 p.m. April 13.

Molinelli today repeated a previous plea that “any member of the public who may have information that could assist in the investigation, including any information relative to persons or vehicles seen in the area of the business on Saturday, April 11, 2015 or Sunday, April 12, 2015 contact the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Confidential TIPS Line at (201) 226-5532 or the South Hackensack Police Department at (201) 440-0042 .”

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