Longtime customers at Buck Hills Market in Waterbury were devastated to hear David Shand, a store clerk, died following a shooting at the market.
“I was hoping that he would come out of this okay and we would see him again in the store,” said Jeffrey Brown, who said he knew Shand for years.
Shand, 61, had been clinging to life for the last week and a half. He was paralyzed from the neck down after he was shot without warning during an armed robbery. Police have charged Tony Dupre, 19, in the shooting.
Sabiel Vargas said he’d heard Shand was doing better, but then contracted pneumonia.
“I just cried in tears. You know? It’s so sad,” Vargas said.
Andew Breda stopped by a makeshift memorial outside the store to pay his respects.
“I definitely miss the guy. I can’t believe this happened. Very sad,” said Breda, who said he frequents the store daily.
He and others described Shand as patient and kind. They said he always wore a cowboy hat.
“You know, I go in that store a lot,” said Peter Baptiste, who lives in the area. “He’s a nice guy, you know what I mean? Didn’t bother nobody. I’d buy scratch-offs. He’d tell me ‘Good luck’ and all this stuff and this is too bad this happened.”
Shand’s alleged killer, Dupre, has already been charged with first-degree robbery, larceny, interfering with an officer and attempted murder. He plead not guilty last week. Now, he could face more serious charges.
“From me knowing that kid, he seemed like a good kid, but he’s young so he probably wasn’t thinking. I don’t know. It’s very sad for what he did, too,” said Breda, who said Dupre is his neighbor.
If Shand had lived, even if he was paralyzed, his customers said nothing would’ve stopped him from coming back to work at the place he loved.
“That’s how friendly he was and how great he was. Nothing will put him down. The only thing that did put him down was a bullet,” said Vargas.
Brown said the store owner plans to collect money to put towards Shand’s funeral services.