MANCHESTER, Conn. (WTNH) — The Windsor man accused of shooting a loss prevention officer at The Shoppes at Buckland Hills in Manchester faced a judge on Monday.

Richard “Rico” LaPlante, 30, turned himself into Manchester police Saturday night after he allegedly shot Tirso Polanco, 27, in the abdomen just after noon Friday. Police said LaPlante then ran away from the scene, launching a massive search.

According to the arrest warrant, Polanco and another loss prevention officer confronted LaPlante, who they suspected of shoplifting. LaPlante then allegedly pulled out a gun and got into a scuffle with Polanco over the gun. The fight moved outside the Macy’s store, where police said LaPlante shot Polanco.

As of Saturday, Polanco remains in critical condition.

“We hope the victim is okay […] and we’re praying for his family,” said Ronald Johnson, LaPlante’s attorney. “The most important thing is letting the judicial process go through its process.”

Macy’s released a statement saying, “We are deeply saddened about the incident that took place at Macy’s Pavilions at Buckland Hills. The safety of our customers and our colleagues is Macy’s top priority. We are working closely with the local police department on this investigation and defer all comments about the case to them per policy.”

“Our officers certainly are going to create a presence at the mall to reassure those coming to the mall, those coming to shop, that we’re in the area,” Manchester police Lt. Ryan Shea said.

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

During his arraignment Monday in Manchester Superior Court, the judge said LaPlante fled the scene and only turned himself in after police released surveillance photos.

The judge kept LaPlante’s bond at $1 million. His next court appearance is scheduled for Sept. 7.

Richard LaPlante
Richard LaPlante (Credit: Manchester Police Department)