MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Archie Mays, the man accused of shooting a bubble vendor on Beale Street Sunday, appeared before a judge Tuesday morning.
His girlfriend maintains he is innocent. Shanta Hardy says she was there when the incident happened, and her boyfriend was trying to protect her.
“The only true victim here is the guy whose hand accidentally got hit because it wasn’t intended for him,” Hardy said.
Court documents say the video shows Mays shooting the victim after the victim reportedly pushed Mays to the ground. Memphis Police say the victim admitted to pushing Mays because Mays allegedly poured a drink on the victim’s souvenir cart, damaging his merchandise.
The victim says he was defending his property.
Hardy says that’s not the whole story. She says she was going to the cart to buy bubble gum for her grandchildren and accidentally spilled the drink.
“When I walked up there,” said Hardy, “I did notice a drink sitting on the little rack part of the cart. But when it spilled over when I was picking up the bubbles, my mind didn’t even think anything about it spilling over. The guy didn’t say [anything]. He didn’t say a word. He just charged from behind the stand and pushed Archie on the ground.”
Hardy says there was a physical altercation between her and the victim moments before Mays got up from the ground and allegedly opened fire.
We asked Hardy why Mays had a gun with him on Beale Street in the first place. She says he has a permit to carry and takes his gun with him everywhere. However, the courts have now ordered him to surrender his weapon and permit.
Mays is in jail on a $150,000 bond. He is due back in court Tuesday morning. Both victims who were shot are expected to be okay.