The man shot outside Palo Alto City Hall at 1:45 a.m. Sunday has been tentatively identified as Philip Andrew Lacy, 27, of Millbrae. Police declined to confirm or deny that identity.
He reportedly remains on a life-support respirator at Stanford Hospital while police are focusing today on piecing together what happened.
"We don't know if it was completely random or if something happened earlier that night," Police Agent Dan Ryan said.
The victim and several friends were standing by parked cars in the 600 block of Bryant Street after spending the evening at downtown bars. Lacy was reportedly standing beside a brown Lexus parked beside the City Hall between the entrance to the parking garage and Hamilton Avenue. He was apparently a passenger, waiting for another friend.
A Pacific Islander man, believed to be about 21 and wearing a black beanie, black gloves and black hooded sweatshirt, approached the victim and robbed him of some personal items, including a valuable gold neck chain.
According to one report, the assailant initially turned and started to walk away, but turned back and shot Lacy in the forehead. Ryan said he didn't know at what point the assailant pulled out a gun or whether it was before or after the robbery.
"His friends were pretty hysterical that night," Ryan said. "We're going to re-interview them today."
Ryan said police may bring a sketch artist to the interviews to see if they can develop a likeness.