Man accused of shooting security guard at Buckland Hills Mall faces judge

Manchester mall shooting suspect charged
Published: Aug. 22, 2022 at 8:02 AM EDT
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MANCHESTER, CT (WFSB) - A man accused of shooting a security guard at the Buckland Hills mall in Manchester faced a judge Monday.

Richard LaPlante, 30, of Windsor, also known to police as “Rico,” turned himself in to police on Saturday night.

LaPlante was identified by Manchester police as the suspect who shot a Macy’s loss prevention officer at the Shoppes at Buckland Hills on Friday.

Police said the victim remains in the hospital for a gunshot wound to the abdomen.

That officer has been identified as 27-year-old Tirso Polanco.

According to an arrest warrant, Polanco and another officer saw LaPlante shoplifting.

Once the officers approached LaPlante, he pulled out a small silver handgun.

The officer and LaPlante struggled over the gun and the fight continued outside of Macy’s. LaPlante pressed the gun into Polanco’s stomach and shot him.

LaPlante then took off on foot.

After LaPlante left the mall, court documents say he went to the Fairfield Inn hotel where he was spotted on surveillance camera.

It’s also where the gun he used was found with ammunition.

A small piece of the officer’s shirt was found in the gun.

After an extensive search for the Windsor resident, LaPlante turned himself in to police on Saturday night.

LaPlante’s attorney spoke outside of court Monday.

“It’s kinda early and at this particular time most experienced defense lawyers are not going to really talk and articulate the facts of the case and most important thing is we’re praying for the victim and hope that the victim is okay and we’re praying for his family and the most important thing is let the judicial process go through its process,” said Ronald Johnson, Attorney for LaPlante.

LaPlante was charged with criminal attempted murder, first-degree assault, first-degree robbery, and carrying a pistol without a permit.

He was held on a $1 million bond.

LaPlante’s next court date is September 7.

Medical professionals say Polanco will need several additional surgeries in the future.

Police said the investigation into the shooting remained ongoing. Anyone with information was asked to contact the detectives at 860-645-5549 or the Manchester Police Department at 860-645-5500.

Suspect in Manchester mall shooting appears in court
The suspect in a Manchester mall shooting appeared in court Monday.
The man accused of shooting a loss prevention officer at the Buckland Hills Mall on Friday is set to face a judge.