May Boyce, 88, owns Murfreesboro Road Liquor and Wines in Nashville, TN.
Last week Boyce shot a man she believed was trying to rob her store. Local police are now charging the octogenarian with aggravated assault.
In talking with media, Boyce believes she acted within the law to defend herself and her property.
“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 New York Post on Saturday, when she returned to work after being released from jail on a $10,000 bond.
“You’ve got to stick up for yourself sometimes,” she added.
Authorities, on the other hand, tell a different story, according to an affidavit obtained by the McClatchy News Service. The man Boyce shot, identified as Ramon Fisher, initially told police that he was high on cocaine and alcohol when he entered the store with the intent to steal some bottles. Fisher was accompanied by a buddy.
However, the next day, Fisher recanted, telling investigators that he and his friend planned to pay for the booze after all. No charges have been filed against those two “customers.”
But, it looks as though prosecutors believe they have enough evidence to hold Boyce criminally liable. Hence the charge she’s facing for aggravated assault.
Boyce maintains she was being physically threatened by the two men and that she didn’t intend to actually harm either one when she produced her late mother Mary’s .38 caliber Smith & Wesson snub-nose revolver.
“I never shot a gun before,” Boyce admitted, “but I guess it’s something that comes natural. I aimed at the floor to scare him.”
Boyce, a widow who stands 5’3″ and weighs 115 pounds, told WSFA12 that this is not the first time she’s had to fend off would-be thieves over her 26 years in business.
In fact, the latest incident happened just days before the confrontation with Mr. Fisher. Two individuals tried to steal an entire case of liquor. Boyce pursed the thieves with a club.
“I was going to break it before, you know. I’d let them have it, I thought, but instead they just knocked me down outside,” Boyce explained.
All in all, it appears this little lady is tired of being a target.
“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.”
Though she’s no longer scared to engage criminals, moving forward she’s going to do so without her gun. Police confiscated it and told her it may take up to two years before it’s returned.
“I told ’em, s–t, I might be dead by then,” Boyce told the New York Post. “But the law’s the law.”