88-Year-Old Nashville Business Owner May Boyce, Who Shot Shoplifting Suspect, Blasts Justice System, Says She Had Enough


An 88-year-old Nashville woman shot a suspected thief at her Murfreesboro Pike liquor store last Tuesday.

The woman said Monday that people nationwide are congratulating her.

“I am very humbled to the reception I have received from the neighborhood and all over the country. I just am so thankful,” May Boyce told The Tennessee Star.

“They tell me to take care of myself — and they also tell me that I should have finished him off.”

Members of the Metro Nashville Police tweeted Boyce’s photo last week. They reported that Boyce is free on $10,000 bond on a charge of aggravated assault for shooting an unidentified man at her Murfreesboro Road Liquor and Wines store. Police said Boyce thought the man — accompanied by another man — was stealing.

But Boyce said she disputes that account.

“I did not think they were stealing. I saw them stealing,” Boyce said, adding one of the men tried to steal two-fifths of Crown Royal.

“That is one thing I want to be corrected.”

The man Boyce shot, police said, continues to recover from his wounds.

“It did happen. I am sorry it did. But that’s the position I am in right now,” Boyce said.

“I just didn’t want them to steal anymore from me because they have already robbed me blind as it is. When he lunged at me, I thought ‘No more.’ Because it hasn’t been all that long, maybe a month ago, that this occurred and they tried to steal two cases and knock me down. All of that stuff. I guess that was the stopping point.”

Boyce said she feels “95 percent it has happened before by him.” She also said she’s called police about the problem many times.

“All they did was just come out and write it up,” Boyce said.

Did Boyce tell the customer in question that he was no longer welcome at his store?

“No. They don’t give you time before to say anything,” Boyce said.

“They run in, and then they grab and run.”

Boyce said she’s managed the store since 1994.

“Criminals get away with whatever,” Boyce said,

“And that is not right for anybody to take that. And that’s where I felt like the justice system should be out here and feel some of the problems that we are having.”

Boyce did not comment on her current legal situation.

Boyce said she feels safe and is not afraid.  She also said she doesn’t see herself retiring anytime soon.

“In the near future I hope to, but right now I have too many problems to square away,” Boyce said.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]





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8 Thoughts to “88-Year-Old Nashville Business Owner May Boyce, Who Shot Shoplifting Suspect, Blasts Justice System, Says She Had Enough”

  1. MAGA

    Damn good shot Granny!

  2. William Delzell

    If she genuinely feared for her life and for the life of her fellow customers AND had a valid licence to use a firearm, then she was justified in using the gun. On the other hand, if she showed carelessness in using the gun, and/or if the police later determined that the person she shot at did not pose a threat to anybody, then she will have to answer. When one owns a gun, it is important that they use it properly. My grandfather on my dad’s side had guns, but he was always careful on how he used them. He used them for just two purposes: hunting; and protecting his property from intruders. He was careful in knowing how to properly store and secure his guns when they were not in use so that his little children would not gain untrained access to them.

    1. Karen Kirkpatrick

      So you’re saying people should just let thieves steal them blind? I call BS on that. If the law won’t deal with thieves, then business owners and homeowners must. You can’t stay in business if you keep suffering losses. I say she was in the right.

  3. Ron Welch

    If a robber lunges at a store owner, it seems this 88 yr old lady was in possible danger of serious bodily injury or even death depending on the agressiveness of the attacker and simply exercised her basic human and Constitutional right of armed self defense which in such a case, deadly force, is legally justified .From what is reported, she is the victim and the perp or perps are fortunate to be alive. It should be that those instigating criminal activity should be taking a huge risk and be taught to respect and fear their intended victims.

  4. The perp becomes the victim The CJ system is upside down.

  5. Julie

    If some storeowner shot me without cause I would be reaching out to the local media for an interview (the affect would be greater if I was still in the hospital). Where are these “victims”?

  6. Mike Johnson

    Aggravated assualt…BS! Power to you May Boyce. We need more folks standing up and defending their property and rights.

    1. Fireguy

      Exactly! And the subjects admitted that they intended rob her and the next day changed their story.