Hixville store owner back in business day after armed robbery

By Douglas McCulloch | Nov 09, 2017
Photo by: Angie Hilsman Bill Chandler serves a customer in his store earlier in the year.

On November 9, Bill Chandler opened the Hixville Village Store for business right on time at 7 a.m. It was just nine hours after the 82-year-old was released from the hospital after suffering stab wounds in an armed robbery a day earlier.

Chandler, known by many in town as the “Mayor of Hixville,” was behind the counter of his 790 Old Fall River Road general store on November 8 when a masked man entered the store at around 5 p.m. and said “give me the money.”

But the severity of the situation did not register at first.

“At first he didn’t show a knife so I thought it was a neighbor playing a joke on me,” Chandler recalled as a steady stream of media and customers passed through his shop Thursday afternoon.

The man pulled out a knife, but Chandler didn’t back down, and shouted at the attacker to leave the store. That’s when the man attacked, stabbing Chandler in the leg.

Chandler kicked a stool in the direction of the would-be robber, but sustained an additional cut to the hand from the blade in the process.

“I was going for something to convince him this is not going to be easy,” Chandler said.

That appeared to work, as the robber fled the store, empty-handed.

Despite the store's location in the heart of Hixville, a quaint, rural historic village north of the railroad tracks, Chandler didn’t rule out the possibility of running into trouble when he decided to open the store, likening the risk to driving.

“You have to accept the possibility of anything happening,” Chandler said.

His storefront, which dates back to the 1930s, opened under Chandler’s ownership in January 2016. He's still working, but he is thinking about additional protection.

Dartmouth police responded to Chandler’s 911 call at 5:07 p.m., according to police. The suspect had already fled the area when police arrived, but detectives and a K-9 unit also responded to the scene to investigate.

The suspect is still at large, and is described by police as a white male, six feet tall, and was wearing a green camouflage hoodie with a bandana over his face.

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