An employee at a Waterbury market, who customers said everyone loved, may be paralyzed from the neck down after he was shot during a robbery Sunday morning.
The teenager accused of shooting the 61-year-old store clerk for no reason and in broad daylight faced a judge on Monday morning.
Police said 19-year-old Tony Dupre entered the Bucks Hill Market, which is located on Boyden Street, on Sunday morning and started shopping for items such as bread and juice. As the clerk was putting the items in a bag, police said Dupre pulled out a revolver and shot David Shand in the neck.
Police told Eyewitness News that Shand was rushed to Waterbury Hospital before being transferred to Hartford Hospital.
"Really nice, always nice to people, always friendly," said Varese Larue, of Waterbury. "Every time you went in there he was courteous and it's a shame it happened to such a nice person."
Dupre then grabbed money, the bread and the juice and fled.
Surveillance cameras inside the market caught the suspect on camera and after a short chase, police said they caught him as well.
Dupre, who apparently has no known criminal record and recently finished high school, was charged with criminal attempt at murder, first-degree robbery, larceny and interfering with an officer.
During Dupre's arraignment, prosecutors made the case to up his bond because the injuries are so serious, including permanent paralysis. Shand was in serious condition as of Monday.
"It's our understanding the victim is living and dealing with no feeling from his neck down," the prosecutor said.
Dupre's bond was originally $750,000, but the judge raised his bond to $1 million.
The store owner told Eyewitness News Dupre visits the store all of the time and that he personally knows his grandmother. Police said the only motive at this point appears to be the robbery.
The son of the store owner said everyone is in shock.
"We are relying on God first and then the justice system to make justice for Dave," the son, who wished not to be identified, said.
Shand was at Bucks Hill Market almost every day and often wore a cowboy hat. But was not supposed to there on Sunday morning.
"You have a hardworking guy that I'm not sure yet, but could be paralyzed for the rest of his life, who worked his whole life and then you have a young kid who threw his future away," said a member of the family that owns Bucks Hill Market.
Shocked by the violence, customers said they were trying to figure out why anyone would do this to a well-liked clerk. They said everyone considered Shand a friendly and familiar face.
"It's upsetting for all of us and just for the community itself," said Shirley Planas, of Waterbury.
Planas said Shand was good with children and was "very humble and very warm."
"My prayers will be with his family and I hope he pulls through," said Larue.
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