BLENHEIM, S.C. (AP, WPDE) -- An 89-year-old South Carolina widow surprised and chased off two burglars who broke into her home by using a fully-loaded .38 caliber pistol she pulled from under her mattress.
Marlboro County Sheriff Fred Knight told the Florence Morning News he arrived at Ruby Hodge's home Monday morning after she'd used her lifeline emergency device to call authorities.
Knight says 42-year-old Nelson Hawkins of Darlington and 31-year-old Ronnie Stevenson of Lydia were apprehended after a passerby saw a vehicle in Hodge's driveway and took down the license plate number.
Hodge told the paper two men broke in through her back door and they ran away after she confronted them with the gun. The widow says the weapon belonged to her late husband, who died 22 years ago.
Hodge was in her bedroom just after 8 a.m. Monday morning, when she heard a knock at her back door, according to WPDE NewsChannel 15.
"I did not answer the knock then.They waited a few minutes and they knocked again and I got up out of bed," said Hodge.
Hodge's daugther and niece got to the scene not long after law enforcement. They say they are relieved she's ok and commend her on how she handled the situation, acording to WPDE.
"My aunt will be 90 years old in October and she held her own. And when the people were breaking in and they saw her, she had hit the lifeline button and also had her pistol turned on them they turned around and high-tailed it out of here. I'm so proud of her," said Rebecca McArthur.
Stevenson and Hawkins are being detained at the Marlboro County Detention Center.