Customers write messages to store owner shot during robbery attempt

Crime

TAUNTON, Mass. (WPRI) — Eagan’s Package Store in Taunton was closed Thursday after one of its owners was shot during an attempted robbery the previous night, but that didn’t stop customers from stopping by.

Saddened by what led to the abrupt closure of the Cohannet Street business, locals wrote notes of encouragement to Alice, who owns the store with her husband and runs the register.

“She is the nicest person you’ll ever meet,” said customer Sandra Ferris.

Alice, known by many as “Sistah,” was shot Wednesday night while fighting off a pair of would-be robbers. Police said the 41-year-old was conscious when she was transported to Rhode Island Hospital. At last check, she was listed in serious but stable condition.Customers were not surprised Alice put up a fight.

“She’s a feisty little lady” Ferris added. “This is her livelihood. She’s not going to give it up for anything.”

Police captured two suspects early Thursday morning at separate locations in the city: Billy Morris, 18, and an unidentified 17-year-old male, who investigators believe pulled the trigger.

“The shooter was poking her, if you will, with the weapon. That’s when it discharged,” said Taunton Police Lt. Paul Roderick. “She was struck once. You can see on the video that she goes backwards significantly, and then they both exit the store.”

Police said they found evidence in the juvenile’s home, including a sawed-off shotgun believed to have been used in the crime, along with some unique footwear.

“Those two pairs of sneakers are distinctive, one being green, one being pink,” added Roderick. “Those were the same sneakers the robbers were wearing in the video.”

Morris was arraigned Thursday on charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, armed robbery, and conspiracy. He was ordered held without bail, pending a dangerousness hearing scheduled for next Thursday.

Prosecutors said the juvenile implicated Morris, who they claim provided the shotgun. Morris’s attorney said there’s more to the story, but declined to elaborate.

The 17-year-old was charged with assault with intent to commit murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, armed and masked robbery, possession of a loaded and sawed-off shotgun, discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building, and conspiracy.

In addition, the teen faces three counts of assault and battery on a police officer, having spit at one officer and kicked three officers during his arrest, according to court documents.

A donation drive will be held this Saturday from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the corner of High and Spring Streets to benefit a woman who friends say cares for everyone she meets.

“We just want Alice to know that the city is behind her,” said Ferris.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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