Investigators searching for the suspect who shot and wounded a mother of three children in New Haven last month got a break in the case when police said a New Milford man confessed to the crime a few days later while on a date with a woman.

The confession not only led to the arrest of a felon with a long criminal history, but it uncovered what appears to have been a gang-initiation test ordered by the victim's boyfriend.

David Joseph Nieman, 25, of Spring Street, has been charged in the Jan. 31 shooting of a 27-year-old New Haven mother of three children, all of whom are under the age of 5.

The woman said she arrived home the night of Saturday, Jan. 31, and found an intruder inside her apartment, New Haven police said. As she fled from the man, he chased and shot her in the thigh, according to the report.

The shooting prompted a search in the building, since the victim believed he was still inside, but police could not locate him.

The victim's boyfriend -- Terquinten Lee Fulton, 30, of New Haven -- was outside in the car with the victim's three children, police said.

The children did not witness the shooting, but Fulton said he had heard the gunshots, brought the children to a neighbor's apartment and called 911, police said.

Days after the incident, a woman who was on a date with Nieman called police to report he stole some of her cash and told her he shot a woman in New Haven, according to police.

Nieman matched the description the victim gave of the shooter, police said.

New Milford authorities were notified and found Nieman Friday, Feb. 6, as he and an accomplice attempted a burglary, police said.

Nieman admitted he had shot the woman as part of a gang initiation, police said. He said Fulton gave him the gun and "instructed" him to shoot the victim, according to police.

Nieman was charged with first-degree assault, unlawful discharge of a firearm, criminal possession of a firearm, home invasion and first-degree conspiracy to commit assault and home invasion.

New Haven police arrested Fulton Feb. 8. He was charged with first-degree conspiracy to commit assault and conspiracy to commit home invasion.

Police continue to investigate Nieman's gang-initiation claims since they are concerned the victim may not have been the only one Fulton wanted to harm.

Nieman faces additional charges in New Milford.

Although he hasn't yet been charged with the burglary attempt, he was charged with violation of probation and possession of drug paraphernalia after his arrest. New Milford police would not provide details on the burglary attempt.

He was held in lieu of $50,000.

The probation term he violated stems from a 2012 conviction for first-degree burglary and second-degree strangulation.

Nieman was sentenced to six years in prison and was released after serving 30 months, according to the state Department of Justice.

He had also been sentenced in 2010 to six months in prison for third-degree assault and then served another six months in 2011 for interfering with an officer/resisting arrest, according to state records.

Nieman has pending misdemeanor charges of fourth- and fifth-degree larceny stemming from an October arrest in New Milford.