NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The 88-year-old owner of a Nashville liquor store charged with shooting a man last week says she had been “knocked around too many times” and needed to protect herself.

May Bell Boyce, the owner of Murfreesboro Road Liquor and Wines, was arrested last week on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. According to police, Boyce shot a man Tuesday night who she thought was trying to steal from her business.

“I was looking at him when he took the merchandise and then he turns around and lunges at me and that’s when I did what I did,” Boyce told News 2. “I was defending myself.”

After the man attempted to lunge at her, Boyce said he ran toward the exit. She said she yelled for him to stop, then fired a gunshot at the ground in his direction.

“He said, ‘I’ve been shot, I’ve been shot’ and he fell into the wine bottles,” she explained. “He kept saying, ‘I can’t get up.'”

The man who was shot was transported to a hospital for treatment. Police said he was questioned, while under medication, and admitted he had been drinking and using cocaine. He reportedly stated to detectives that he and his friends went into the store to steal liquor, and while in the process of that theft, Boyce shot him once in the back.

The next day, officers said they spoke with the man again who changed his story and claimed another person asked him to steal the liquor, but he was planning to pay for it.

No charges have been filed against the man, as of Monday morning.

May Boyce
May Bell Boyce (Courtesy: Metro Nashville Police Department)

When asked if she felt she should be charged, Boyce told News 2, “I don’t think so because I was trying to protect myself, but the law is the law and you have to go by the law.”

Boyce said her store has been robbed several times and she has been assaulted during multiple incidents.

“I just want to be left alone,” Boyce explained. “I just want to operate a little store, you know, for the community and whoever. I’m not there to hurt anybody and I don’t want anybody to hurt me. I’ve been knocked around too many times. I’m tired of it. I will defend myself.”

Boyce was released from jail on a $10,000 bond. Her court date is set for the afternoon of June 29.