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A 27-year-old man who police say was a kind, generous person with no criminal background was killed in an apartment stairwell after visiting his ailing mother.

Selvakumar Sellaiah was shot to death late Tuesday night on the 17th floor of 275 Bleecker St., an apartment building in the Sherbourne Avenue and Wellesley Street area.

"He's an innocent man," Detective Joel Kulmatycki said.

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Mr. Sellaiah lived in the area and worked at a nearby restaurant.

Police believe robbery may have been the motive.

He is the city's ninth homicide victim of 2005.

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