Federal authorities have charged three men in a jewelry store robbery that left the owner dead.
The three New York residents were charged by indictment with federal robbery offenses in connection to the fatal shooting of Mark Vuono, 69, at his store on March 28, U.S. Attorney John Durham announced in a release.
Stamford police responded to a report of a shooting at Marco Jewelers in late March. When officers arrived, they found Vuono lying on the ground in front of an open safe. He was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency crews.
The chief medical examiner’s office said he died from a bullet wound to his head and ruled his death a homicide.
The suspects, Robert Rallo, 56, of Brooklyn, New York Thomas Liberatore, 62, of White Plains, New York, and Paul Prosano, 60, of Brooklyn, New York, are facing federal charges.
Investigators believe Prosano drove the others to Marco Jewelers. Based on surveillance, investigators said Rallo, who had a gun, struggled with Vuono, who also had a firearm, while Liberatore stole items from display cases. During the struggle Rallo and Vuono moved near the safe, which contained another gun. Rallo grabbed the gun, a .357 revolver, and shot Vuono, according to prosecutors.
The men were arrested on March 30 after investigators located the Jaguar on Staten Island and watched until the suspects appeared.
The men are also facing charges in connection with a prior robbery of a jewelers in Greenwich and a stolen vehicle from a Yonkers, New York, car dealership in mid-March.
Officials said the three men had extensive criminal records and met while serving time in jail.
All three are charged with interference with commerce by robbery and interstate transportation of stolen property.
Rallo is also charged with using a firearm to cause a death during a robbery, and Liberatore with aiding and abetting. If convicted, they face life in prison, or the death penalty.
The suspects have been detained in New York on state parole violation charges since their arrests.