After having her wrist injured during an earlier robbery, an elderly liquor store owner was sick of shoplifters taking advantage of her. So, the next time an alleged thief tried to steal from her, she sent them an unmistakable message.
For Nashville resident May Boyce, the world can be a particularly dangerous place. The 88-year-old widow stands at just 5-foot-3-inches tall and weighs only 115 pounds, making her a seemingly easy target for anyone with malicious intent. Fortunately, she has the Second Amendment to level the playing field.
The feisty owner of Murfreesboro Road Liquor and Wines was fed up with shoplifters continually targeting her store, likely seeing the kind-faced octogenarian as the perfect prey. She told the New York Post that she has been robbed numerous times, including an incident in which her wrist was apparently injured. She was tired of being scared. As such, Boyce proceeded to arm herself to protect her life and livelihood.
Boyce says that, while working the counter on a Tuesday evening, a pair of suspicious men walked into her store and attempted to steal some alcohol. She told police that one of the men headed toward the back of the store where the vodka was stocked while the other confronted her “in a manner that she knew” meant he intended to steal from her.
Boyce quickly picked up her .38 Smith & Wesson snub-nose revolver and casually placed it on the counter. She claims it was then that Ramon Fisher grabbed a few bottles of Crown Royale and “lunged” at her in an attempt to push her to the ground. When he ran for the exit with the goods, Boyce says she had no choice but to shoot.
“I did what I had to do, and I hope word gets out on the street that I’m fed up and I’m not taking it anymore,” she told The Post from her store, where supportive customers lined up. “You’ve got to stick up for yourself sometimes.”
Boyce claims that she didn’t intend to shoot Fisher, but her warning shot hit him in the back as he fled. She says that she isn’t very knowledgeable with firearms and mistakenly shot the culprit. Still, she isn’t apologizing for her actions.
“I did what I had to do,” she said. “After you’ve been played for a fool by people stealin’ from you for years, you get fed up. And don’t put me in the category of a little old lady. I know how to take care of myself.”
“I never shot a gun before,” Boyce said, “but I guess it’s something that comes natural. I aimed at the floor to scare him.”
Boyce volunteered to go to the police station after officers arrived at the scene. However, she was back at her storefront immediately after posting a $10,000 bond.
“I went down, got my mugshot taken, got out on bond and came right back to the store,” Boyce said. “I got some people to help me but it took us to 1 a.m. to clean up all the wine that spilled everywhere.”
An affidavit confirmed that police questioned Fisher, who was receiving treatment for his gunshot wound at Vanderbilt Hospital. Fisher admitted that he had been high on cocaine and alcohol at the time of the shooting and that he intended to steal the bottles from Boyce. The next day, Fisher changed his story, claiming that he and his friends were going to pay for the liquor and were simply walking toward the exit.
Boyce was charged with aggravated assault. Authorities confiscated her firearm and informed her that it could take up to two years before she is allowed to have it back. By then, Boyce says she may not need it.
“I told ’em, s–t, I might be dead by then,” Boyce said. “But the law’s the law.”
May Boyce has received heaps of support both from patrons to her store and social media users who’ve heard her story. Incredibly, she hasn’t let her arrest put a damper on her work ethic.
Boyce’s arrest has sparked debate about an individual’s right to protect not only their life but their property as well. Whatever her outcome, the fiery shopowner wants any potential thieves to know that she’s not going to take it lying down anymore.