STAMFORD, Conn. -- Stamford's mayor and police chief spoke of their sorrow at the stabbing death of taxi driver Mahomed Kamal but also expressed their pride and appreciation of the city police officers who threw everything into the case to arrest and charge 29-year-old Shota Mekoshvili with murder.
Mayor David Martin extended his and the city's sympathy to Kamal's family at a press conference Thursday.
"Yesterday we were horrified and shocked to learn of this horrific and brutal murder," Martin said. "On behalf of the residents of Stamford and everyone here, I want to express, my sympathy to Mr. Kamal's wife and his family on this deep and sudden loss. It is a shame and I feel deeply for the pain they must be feeling."
Martin praised the police department's work in making a quick arrest in the Wednesday murder.
"We have a great police department here and the men and women of our police department took immediate action," he said.
"I want to commend Chief Fontneau and the entire police department for the work that they do in keeping our city's streets safe for all of us."
Police Chief Johnathan Fontneau said the killing hit the city hard and that police threw everything they had to solve the crime.
"Yesterday was an extremely sad day here in the city of Stamford," Fontneau said. "A young man in his 40s went to work to support his family on the night shift driving a taxi cab and sometime during that night shift he was murdered. It appears the motive now was robbery."
His wife came to police headquarters at 7 a.m. to report her husband hand't returned home. It was about 8:30 a.m. that police were called to the scene of 150 Doolittle Road after landscapers had found Kamal's body.
"As I sat and spoke with his wife today and his 3-and-a-half-year-old son I couldn't have been more sad," Fontneau said. "But at the same time I couldn't have been more proud of the team you see behind me."
The officers worked nonstop to develop information and that by 8:30 p.m. they had arrested the man following a short foot chase in the bar and restaurant area of Bedford Street, he said.
"For that I take some solace on the saddest day we have had in quite a long time," he said.