Norwalk Police Chief Thomas Kulhawik expressed confidence Thursday that the gunman who shot a woman outside a Stop & Shop on Connecticut Avenue Wednesday afternoon will be captured.
Facing a roomful of reporters at a morning news conference in Police Headquarters, Kulhawik said, "With the information that we have and the evidence we've recovered, I am confident that we will identify the person and bring this person to justice."
Kulhawik said investigators have a lot of leg work to do and a lot of forensic evidence to examine to locate the perpetrator who shot the woman just after she entered her car in the parking lot of the Stop & Shop supermarket at 385 Connecticut Ave.
Mayor Richard A. Moccia, who also appeared at the news conference, said the "good news" about the incident at this point is that the woman is "doing better" following a lengthy surgery to remove a bullet from her abdomen.
According to her husband, Moccia said, the bullet "missed all the vital organs." He declined to provide her name.
The woman, who's 50 years old and a Greenwich resident, drove to the supermarket after dropping off her 15-year-old son at a nearby bowling alley.
Moccia characterized the shooting as a random act that can occur anywhere and said, "We're an urban center, we're going to have issues."
Police received a 911 call at 1:40 p.m. reporting the shooting, which occurred in the supermarket's east lot. When officers arrived, they found the woman down with a bullet wound to the abdomen. She was transported by ambulance to Norwalk Hospital.
Kulhawik noted the woman had parked her car at the far eastern end of the lot with no other cars nearby apparently because there was some shade there and she had her Labordoodle dog with her.
Kulhawik said the woman completed shopping in the store and had just entered her car when a male came up to the driver's side of the vehicle. He declined to describe in detail what occurred next, but at some point the man shot her and then fled north across Connecticut Avenue.
On Wednesday, police said the woman managed to exit her car and stagger some distance before collapsing.
Detectives and patrol officers fanned out toward a shopping center directly across the street from Stop & Shop, and then moved east into the Colonial Village public housing complex.
Lt. Timothy Murphy, commander of the Detective Bureau, told reporters the investigation moved to the housing complex because a police dog followed a track there. He said investigators do not believe the gunman is hiding in one of neighborhood's houses.
Murphy said detectives are pursuing several leads and hope to come up with surveillance video showing the gunman, which could be released to the public.
He said detectives were able to talk to the woman briefly Wednesday night.
Kulhawik said investigators have some "persons of interest" they're looking at.
"We have a great police department," Moccia said. "They acted quickly, they had numerous officers in the area and the surrounding areas, and did a thorough investigation."