88-Year-Old Woman Could Lose Her Gun for 2 Years After Shooting Alleged Shoplifter


An 88-year-old liquor store owner was charged with aggravated assault and had her gun confiscated by police after she shot an alleged shoplifter.

May Boyce has owned Murfreesboro Road Liquor and Wines in Nashville, Tennessee, since 1994. She opens and closes the store six days a week by herself, the New York Post reported.

She had been robbed in the past and said that she has often been scared when she is alone.

“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,” Boyce told the Post following the incident.

She told police that on the evening of June 16, two men came into her store and approached the counter in a way that she felt they might try to steal from her store.

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Boyce said she knew “based on the victim’s demeanor that he was going to steal the liquor,” according to Nashville Tennessean.

She placed her .38 Smith & Wesson snub nose revolver on the counter and unwrapped it from its covering.

She said the victim, identified as Ramon Fisher, “lunged” at her after picking up a bottle and headed for the exit.

Boyce allegedly fired one shot as Fisher was leaving, but she told the Post she didn’t mean to hit the man.

“I never shot a gun before, but I guess it’s something that comes natural,” she said. “I aimed at the floor to scare him.”

Authorities said in the affidavit obtained by the Charlotte Observer that “the victim yelled out that he had been shot and fell into a stack of bottles.” The other man helped him out of the store.

Fisher originally told police that he and his friend had intended to steal from Boyce’s store, but later amended his story and said they had planned to pay for it.

“I did what I had to do,” Boyce said.

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“After you’ve been played for a fool by people stealin’ from you for years, you get fed up.”

Do you think May Boyce's gun should have been confiscated?

She added, “And don’t put me in the category of a little old lady. I know how to take care of myself.”

Nashville police confiscated her gun as part of the investigation and told her it might be two years before she can get it back.

“I told ’em, s— I might be dead by then,” Boyce said. “But the law’s the law.”

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith