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Westport Police Release Sketch of Homicide Suspect [UPDATE]

Police Monday night released a sketch of the suspect in last Thursday's homicide.

Update: 6:00 p.m., Monday

A sketch of the suspected shooter in last Thursday night's robbery homicide was released by Westport police this evening. The sketch was completed by an MTA Police Sergeant as described by the victim.

The suspect is described as a white male, 5’10” to 6’0” tall, medium build, age in the mid-40s, with short “salt and pepper” colored hair. He had three to four days of facial hair growth at the time of the crime.  He was wearing a dark wool driving cap, black framed glasses, jeans, and cowboy style boots with a zippered front. On Thursday night, the night of the crime, he was wearing a blue or blue-green jacket with darker colored sleeves and shoulders and a light-colored horizontal stripe around the waist.

The suspect was wearing a solid green color quilted jacket and carried a green umbrella during his appointment at YZ Jewelers on Wednesday. He was seen driving a blue 4-door vehicle, described as “boxy” -- possibly a Scion or Nissan Cube-type vehicle with no front plate, according to police.

The Westport Police Department is asking anyone that may have seen this individual in the Town of Westport or elsewhere to call the Westport Police Department Detective Bureau at 203-341-6080. All calls will be kept confidential.

The is asking that if anyone who was in the area of Compo Shopping Center on December 7 or 8 and saw a person matching this description, they call the Westport Police Department Detective Bureau at 203-341-6080.

Update: 3:00 p.m., Monday

The long-time Westport resident's death was ruled a homicide caused by numerous gunshot wounds, according the state medical examiner's office, The Hour reports.

While Westport and state police Western District Major Crime Squad detectives continue to investigate the homicide, they hope someone will come forward with information now that enhanced photos of the suspect have circulated around various communities, including the town of Westport and the Jewelers’ Security Alliance.

Update: 10:00 p.m., Saturday

New surveillance photographs of the suspect were released. The images were taken from different surveillance footage and were recorded the day before the robbery/homicide at about 11 a.m, according to Westport Police.

The suspect in the was in Westport around that time for an appointment with the victims. The location of the camera is not being disclosed at this time. 

In these photos the suspect is wearing a solid green-colored, quilted jacket instead of the two-tone, blue jacket worn on the night of the crime.

Detectives from the and the Connecticut State Police Western District Major Crime Squad have been working since Thursday evening to identify the suspect in the crime.

The Westport Police Detective Bureau urges anyone who may recognize the individual pictured to call them at 203-341-6080. All calls will remain confidential.

 Update: 11:00 a.m., Saturday

Westport Police, who are working overtime this weekend investigating Thursday's robbery and shooting incident at YZ Jewelers at 431 Post Road East, said investigators from the state crime lab are still working to obtain clear images of a man who may be the perpetrator from the store's video surveillance cameras.

Police will be releasing the images to the public once they are developed, Westport Police Captain Sam Arciola said in a statement to the media.

In a related announcement, Westport Police announced that today's toy drive by the Westport Police Department Local Union No. 2080 and Police Benevolent Association has been postponed until Sunday, due to a lack of officers to run the event. According to a report in WestportNow.com, the event will take place on Sunday and next weekend.

Update: 5:00 p.m., Friday

The surveilance video from YZ Jewelry has been sent to the state laboratory for enhancements in order to help identify the unknown suspect.

Update: 1:00 p.m., Friday

Police described the suspect as a man in his early to mid 40’s, medium build, short hair (salt and pepper), three days of facial hair, wearing a dark hat, blue or green jacket, cowboy boots (or something similar).

The surviving victim, identified as Ronen Konfino, of New York, NY, a business associate of Zeevi, vaguely described the suspect’s vehicle as a “blue, four-door boxy vehicle.”

Konfino is in stable condition at Norwalk Hospital and is cooperating with the investigation.

Chief Dale Call said it appears the suspect entered the building twice Thursday night, and once on Wednesday. The man had appointments with Zeevi on both occasions. He responded to a weekly diamonds advertisement Zeevi placed in the interest of buying or selling diamonds, Call said.

Police are having difficulty viewing the in-store video footage as it was a very old system. Police are only able to view the video backwards and in still frames, so they must play the video backwards while trying to recreate a new video on their computers that they can watch in regular time.

Call hopes someone who was in the plaza at the time of the shooting will come forward with information, though he noted it was clear nobody had heard anything because the only call they received was from the second victim.

“It’s a sad thing to have happen — nothing any town wants to see happen,” Call said. “We pride ourselves on having a safe community where people look out for each other. It’s a tragedy, there is no other way to look at it.”

Update: 10:30 a.m., Friday

Police have a video image of the suspect, but are seeking out additional surveillance footage from other businesses, according to Westport Police Chief Dale Call.

Police intend to put out a description of the suspect when they have one. There is no vehicle description. 

The surveillance footage that shows the suspect of Westport's first robbery homicide in 30 years, is from the hallway of the jewlery store. 

"Right now, we are trying to confirm what we are hearing," Call said of the suspect's description.

Call said he is fairly certain the suspect is not in Westport and has not been for a long time. 

Call explained there is a neighboring gym that remains open until 11 p.m., after the time of the alleged homicide. 

"We are hoping there were people in there and that they will come forward if they saw something," Call said. 


Original Story

Months after a trial for the , Westporters awoke Friday to news that a similar crime occurred in their own town overnight.

According to Westport police, 65-year-old Yekutiel Zeevi, a town resident, was shot inside YZ Jewelers at 431 Post Road East, Suite 18, apparently some time around 10 p.m. Thursday, and later died at Norwalk Hospital.

A second victim is reported to be in critical condition. Anyone in the area of Compo Shopping Center between 9:30 and 10 p.m. is asked to call the Detective Bureau at 203-341-6080 if they saw anything suspicious.

"Based upon the preliminary investigation this was not a random robbery and these individuals were specifically targeted by a single unknown suspect," Westport Police Captain Sam Arciola said in a news release this morning. "Detectives are investigating whether there was any video surveillance in place at the time of the robbery that would assist in the investigation."

Westport Patch will have more details as they become available.

[Editor's Note: This article has been updated to protect the privacy of a shooting survivor.]

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Larry Ferrari December 09, 2011 at 02:24 PM
Isn't this the second one? Didn't a husband and wife die a few years ago? Such unbelievable sadness...
Chris Rueli (Editor) December 09, 2011 at 04:14 PM
Larry, Chief Call referred to a more recent untimely death, but stated this was the first robbery homicide in Westport in 30 years.
Larry Ferrari December 09, 2011 at 06:49 PM
Sorry the way things are happening these days its confusing..I could be thinking of Stamford...In any case I'm sorry..
CDM December 09, 2011 at 09:41 PM
My wife and I were customers of both Kuti and the Donnellys. This is very sad. Kuti was such a wonderful man to do business with. He made the engagement ring for my wife. He was so good to us. We feel personally hurt by this crime.
Fairfield Resident December 10, 2011 at 06:43 AM
OY VEY!
Ellen Linker December 10, 2011 at 02:41 PM
My husband and I were long time friends of the Zeevis. Kuti was a good person and will surely be missed. It was such a useless tragedy.
robin Ferrara Singer December 10, 2011 at 08:34 PM
Kuti was a special friend !! He was incredibly honest ! He would give me advice on many things, not only diamonds. He was like a father figure ! A visit with Kuti was a pleasure. He never made you feel insignificant no matter if you were sizing a ring , buying a ring, or just looking ! You felt like you were sitting in his home with him when you went there. To look at the video of the man on the staircase and in his corridor is so disturbing ! If only he could have sensed what this man was about to do, he could have not buzzed him in :(( ! Maybe God needed his advice up there in heaven :) I will miss him here !!
Judy December 13, 2011 at 03:24 PM
I imagine that his eyeglasses, facial hair and hat are long gone. A rendering without them should also be circulated.
OLDTIMER December 20, 2011 at 04:59 PM
When they finally catch this guy, he will look very different, and will probably be somebody well knonw in the diamond district in New York as a long time diamond dealer. As soon as the stolen diamonds can be identified and matched up with their paperwork, the detailed description of the stones should be circulated to diamond dealers all over this part of the country. If this guy made several visits and knew a lot about diamonds, the missing stones were probably the best in the place and he knows exactly what he can sell them for. There are people in the diamond district who know everybody and know pretty much who is buying, who is selling, and what stones they are offerring, or were last week. It would probably pay to have a Westport detective hook up with a NYPD detective that has worked the diamond district for a long time and spend some time talking to people there.

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