The 15-year-old Waterbury girl who was shot in the back during an attempted car theft early Monday morning on Hulda Lane is believed to be part of a group of criminals responsible for several stolen cars in the area, police said.

“The girl who received the gunshot wound was part of a group of individuals that we believe were involved in criminal activity,” Ridgefield Police Capt. Jeff Kreitz said Wednesday, June 7.

“We are still piecing it all together and obviously do not want to compromise the integrity of the case,” he said.

The girl was brought to Waterbury Hospital later Monday morning, Ridgefield police told The Press Tuesday, June 6. She is expected to survive.

According to Kreitz, nobody has been charged with any crimes. Kreitz would not respond to inquiries about how many shots were fired during the incident or if the girl was armed during the attempted theft.

He did not reveal the name of the homeowner.

The investigation remains open.

Kreitz did say that the group, which includes four other teenagers, could be connected to a series of vehicle larcenies and stolen cars that happened in Ridgefield earlier this year.

“The group of individuals that we believe were involved in this incident, their MO closely matches the previous incidents of larcenies from motor vehicles and stolen motor vehicles in Ridgefield as well as in other jurisdictions,” he told The Press Wednesday, June 7.

According to Waterbury’s Republican-American, the group is suspected of stealing several cars throughout the state, including towns like Southington.

The Ridgefield homeowner was woken around 3 a.m., the report said, and the girl was dropped off at the hospital around 5 a.m. by another teenage girl. 

As of Monday night, the investigation spanned across multiple towns — Ridgefield, Southington, Greenwich and Waterbury — and included the shooting on Hulda Lane, as well as a car chase that ended with a multi-car collision at the intersection of Homestead Avenue and Frost Road in downtown Waterbury.

According to Deputy Waterbury Police Chief Fred Spagnolo, the accident stemmed from a stolen Ford Escape being spotted on surveillance cameras before 1 p.m. Monday. The car was pursued and eventually rammed by cops at the intersection. Spagnolo said the stolen vehicle had four occupants, who were all taken into custody.

Three of the four suspects were minors.

Spagnolo said that 19-year-old Juan Corporan was the only one of the four who was not a minor, and that the driver was a 16-year-old boy. There were two other minors — one a 16-year-old boy and another 17-year-old boy — in the vehicle who were also arrested, according to the Republican-American.

"We do believe that this entire group of people is responsible for several motor vehicle theft in Waterbury and the Greater Waterbury area over the course of the last few weeks," said Spagnolo.

Kreitz would not confirm those details to The Press.

"Questions in regards to connections to incidents in other jurisdictions/ in town," he said. "We are looking into this as we would with any investigation."