Retired widow holds burglary suspect at gun point - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Retired widow holds burglary suspect at gun point

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CHEROKEE COUNTY, NC (WRCB) -- A man, wanted in Georgia, returned to the scene of his crime only to find himself staring down the barrel of a gun.

The woman holding it: a retired widow who says she wasn't letting the man who stole from her get away.

"Never did I feel scared," Sue Johnson says. "I was prepared to take care of myself."

Sue Johnson came home to find she had been robbed.

"I got in from church and there was a mess everywhere," says Johnson.

But it wasn't until two days later she came face to face with the man who stole a shot gun, cell phone and medication from her house.

"There was a knock on my door," Johnson says. "He was standing there with about a three foot long stick."

Sue says 26-year-old Nathaniel Leatherwood returned to apologize.

"So I just pulled my gun out of my pocket and said I'm calling the sheriff's office," Johnson explains. "They're going to come pick you up. I'm not going to let this happen to an old, retired lady who lives alone."

Sheriff Keith Lovin arrived on scene, relieved Sue was not harmed.

"I hugged her neck and told her she's my hero," says Sheriff Lovin.

Just a few weeks earlier, the sheriff taught a gun safety course at Sue's church.

He says all citizens should be prepared.

"A medical emergency or whether it's a fire, whether it's an intruder, whether it's a natural disaster, I think sometimes citizens sometimes get complacent," says Sheriff Lovin.

"Especially if you are a widow and live alone, you need to be taught to shoot and have something in your house to protect yourself," says Johnson.

While Leatherwood won't be out of jail any time soon, Sue says she's ready should trouble coming knocking again.

"I just go to bed each night and sleep through," Sue says. "Whatever happens will happen."

Investigators say Leatherwood knew Sue and had been staking out her house. He was wanted in Georgia for violating his probation.

He's being held on second degree burglary and larceny charges.

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