A Windsor man charged in the attempted murder of a Buckland Hills Mall security guard was arraigned Monday.
Richard LaPlante, 30, of Windsor appeared in Manchester Superior Court around noon. Judge Sheila M. Prats ordered his bond to remain at $1 million, court records show.
LaPlante is accused of shooting security guard Tirso Polanco, 27, in the stomach after the guard confronted him about the robbery of a Macy’s department store at Buckland Hills Mall, according to the police department of Manchester, court records and warrant obtained. by the Courant
Police issued a warrant for his arrest and he turned himself in Saturday night, according to police. He faces charges of attempted murder, first-degree assault, first-degree robbery and carrying a handgun without a permit, court records show.
In the warrant for LaPlante, a second loss prevention officer told police that Polanco spotted LaPlante’s theft and confronted him. LaPlante pulled out a small silver handgun, according to the warrant, and the two struggled for the gun in and out of the store.
According to the warrant, LaPlante pushed the gun into Polanco’s stomach and fired a single shot.
The bullet ripped through Polanco’s gray T-shirt, leaving a hole and burn marks, police said. A small piece of his shirt was later found on a handgun found near a dumpster where LaPlante was seen hiding, according to police.
The bullet struck several of Polanco’s internal organs, according to police. He was listed in critical condition Saturday, police said, and remained hospitalized Monday afternoon.
“Medical professionals said he will need several additional surgeries to repair the damage,” police said in the order.
LaPlante also does not have a valid Connecticut handgun permit, according to police.
After shooting Polanco, LaPlante fled the mall and hid in front of a nearby dumpster, according to the warrant. He was seen on surveillance footage from Macy’s running toward the Fairfield Inn and Suites hotel at 121 Pavilions Dr. from Manchester and hiding behind the container for a few minutes around 12:15 pm before taking off again, leaving the camera’s view.
Police searched the area near the container and found a bundle of black cloth. Inside was a small silver handgun, police said. The gun was the same make, color and caliber as the gun used in the shooting. A small piece of gray fabric matching Polanco’s shirt was found in the upper receiver of the firearm, police said.
Police also recovered a single bullet casing at the scene of the shooting, according to the warrant.
Police showed surveillance photos of LaPlante from Macy’s to the second loss prevention officer who saw the robbery and shooting. The officer, who was not listed in the warrant, confirmed that the man in the video was the shooter. He was wearing red Nike sandals with socks and a dark blue T-shirt from a local basketball league that said “Savage City” with a picture of a tiger and the number 47 on the back, police said.
The guard also picked out LaPlante from a photo lineup, police said.
Police showed surveillance footage of LaPlante to CT transit workers and located more surveillance footage on local buses before and after the shooting. The videos show LaPlante taking a bus from Windsor to the mall, then getting on another bus near the mall and going to the area of East Wolcott Avenue and Windsor Avenue in Windsor before 2 p.m.
Police assumed she got off the bus near her home, so they contacted Windsor police, who reviewed booking photos and identified LaPlante as a match. His records showed he lived about a mile from the bus stop, according to the warrant.
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The police went to his home and spoke to his father, with whom he lives. He gave them permission to search his bedroom, where officers saw red Nike slides and a “Savage City” T-shirt, according to the warrant.
According to the warrant, police showed LaPlante’s father, Jackson LaPlante, surveillance photos from Macy’s and asked him “this is your son, right?”
“Yes,” his father replied, according to the order.
In court Monday, Judge Prats also ordered that if LaPlante posts bail, he will be required to be in 24-hour confinement and wear a GPS monitor, according to court records.
His case was transferred to Part A court in Hartford, where major crimes are heard. He is scheduled to appear in court on September 7.
Police are asking anyone with information about the shooting to contact lead investigator Detective Claire Hearn at 860-645-5549 or the Manchester Police Department at 860-645-5500.