STAMFORD, Conn. -- As he fought desperately for his life, Mahomed Kamal was able to injure his killer enough that it played a role in the capture of the suspect, police said Thursday as they announced the arrest of a Stamford man on murder charges.
Shota Mekoshvili, 29, of 1462 Summer St., was charged with murder and second-degree hindering prosecution after he was apprehended during a chase through outdoor diners in downtown Stamford, police said. He's accused of stabbing Kamal, a Stamford Taxi driver, to death at about 3 a.m. Wednesday.
“We learned later that he put up a valiant struggle and injured our suspect during that struggle, and that will aid us in this case,” police Capt. Richard Conklin said during a Thursday morning press conference at police headquarters.
Police believe Kamal picked up Mekoshvili in the downtown area at about 3 a.m. Wednesday and drove to the secluded Doolittle Road area in Westover, where the the attack occurred. Police said the men may have had interactions in the past.
Lt. Diedrich Hohn said Stamford Taxi did not have a record of Kamal picking up Mekoshvili because it occurred after 2 a.m. when the dispatchers end their shift. He said cab drivers often pick up fares after that time to earn extra money.
Kamal was reported missing by his wife at 7 a.m. Wednesday. At 8:30 a.m., police rushed to 150 Doolittle Road after landscapers had found Kamal's body. His taxi was found in a wooded area nearby on the dead end street.
Police worked feverishly throughout the day, Conklin said, as they followed up on different pieces of intelligence.
"The intel is so important," Conklin said at the press conference. As the hours passed on one of the hottest days of the year, officers began to zero in on Mekoshvili.
One piece of intelligence police obtained was that Mekoshvili was seen walking on Long Ridge Road at about 3:40 a.m. They also discovered one of Kamal's credit cards on Long Ridge Road. The end of Doolittle Road, where the attack occurred, is about 800 feet from Long Ridge Road.
Police obtained search warrants and raided Mekoshvili's second-floor apartment at 1462 Summer St. later in the evening.
They stopped his girlfriend in a car, which was filled with personal information and Mekoshvili's possessions, police said. Officers suspect he may have been planning to flee the area, police said.
Police are still investigating the girlfriend's role in the case.
Soon after, police spotted Mekoshvili in the downtown area. He was already known to the department in connection with burglaries in the Hoyt Street area a few months ago, police said.
When Mekoshvili saw the officers, he ran, police said. Officers chased him through the busy restaurant section of Bedford Street, past diners, and eventually caught up to him on Forest Street at about 9 p.m.., police said. Officers then struck him with charge from a stun gun and tackled him to the ground, police said.
Mekoshvili is a citizen of the Republic of Georgia, a small country in the Caucasus that was formerly part of the old Soviet Union. He holds a U.S. Green Card, police said.
Conklin said U.S. Immigration Authorities and police were in the process of notifying Georgian authorities of the murder charges.
Police haven't yet found the knife used in the fatal attack, and they also asked the public to turn over any documents or evidence they find that could assist police in the case.
The department can be reached at 203-977-4444.