Dixon Smith, Stage 4 Cancer Patient, Thwarts Robbery With Shotgun

09/21/2012 07:09 pm ET | Updated Sep 22, 2012

LAKETON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A 63-year-old man with stage 4 lymphoma, steady nerves and a double-barreled shotgun thwarted a break-in at his western Michigan home and convinced two suspects to surrender, police said.

Dixon Smith said he confronted the two young men just before noon Thursday after they climbed the stairs to the second floor of his home in Muskegon County's Laketon Township.

Smith and police believe one of the suspects picked the front door lock with a credit card.

"I'm still trying to calm down," Smith, who was home alone working in his second-story loft, told MLive.com for a story published Friday. "Within three minutes I see a guy with a hoodie walking past my front window."

"They made it almost to the top stair. I came out and told them to lay down," he said of the frightening experience. "Tell you what, you've got a shotgun, you're waiting, you hear them on the stairway coming for your bedroom."

Smith, whose lymphoma currently is in remission, ordered the two to lie down and held them at bay with the loaded gun while he called 911 and waited for police, who arrived after "kind of a long" five-to-10-minute wait.

Smith said he spent the time holding his shotgun on the two suspects, who assured him they wouldn't try anything and eventually surrendered to police. No one was injured.

"I really tried to be as forceful as possible," Smith said. "I didn't want them to get me into a conversation. You can't let them get too close to where they can grab the gun."

Both suspects were lodged at the Muskegon County Jail awaiting charges, said Sgt. Pat Herremans of the Muskegon County Sheriff's Office.

Smith said he and his wife knew and, over the years, have tried to help one of the suspects.

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