Dixon Smith cancer patient shotgun home invaders

Dixon Smith, 63, said he used a shotgun to keep two alleged home invaders at bay on Thursday. (Image source: WOOD-TV)

A 63-year-old man with stage 4 lymphoma used a shotgun to hold off two intruders who broke into his home.

Dixon Smith of Laketon Township, Mich. told MLive.com he confronted the two men just before noon on Thursday after he heard them talking downstairs shortly after his wife left to go shopping. He grabbed the gun and waited as they made it up to the second floor.

“They made it almost to the top stair. I came out and told them to lay down,” Smith told MLive.

He made them lie still while he dialed 911 and waited for police to arrive — “kind of a long five to 10 minutes, though,” he said. He said he spent the time talking to the two men and warning them not to try anything, which they didn’t. He said they were both wearing backpacks.

“I really tried to be as forceful as possible,” said Smith, whose cancer is currently in remission. “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.”

According to WOOD-TV, Alex Andrew Dickerson, 26, and James Leon Polk, 27, were each charged with first-degree home invasion Friday.

Smith said he and his wife know Polk and have tried to help him over the years, even taking him on a trip to Florida when he was a teenager. Smith said he believes the man became a drug addict, and he and his wife suspect him of stealing other things from the home in the past, including cash and his cancer medication.

Smith said police believe the two picked the front door lock with a credit card and that they found a chair in the woods outside used for staking out the home.

“It’s not a fun experience,” Smith told WOOD. “You don’t really know what’s really going on and it’s not, it’s not what you might think. It’s not like the movies, you know it’s pretty serious when you’re holding a gun on somebody.”

He continued, “You don’t know if they’re gonna pull a gun out or try to take your gun away from you or get you in a corner when you’re forced to shoot them. And I was trying to keep that from happening.”

He told the station he’d prefer the two get rehab rather than harsh jail sentences.

“Something that would straighten him out,” he said. “But what are you going to do?”