A man shot and injured an intruder early Sunday, July 17, in the 500 block of N. Waterloo Street, Jackson police reported. (Danielle Salisbury/MLive.com)
A man shot and injured an intruder early Sunday, July 17, in the 500 block of N. Waterloo Street, Jackson police reported. (Danielle Salisbury/MLive.com)

 

Richard Snyder’s Jackson, MI home is a beacon for armed robbers for one simple reason: He’s an older man with a bad back who is a card-carrying medical marijuana caregiver, legally growing plants in the family’s home.

In October, there was what police reported to be “an armed home invasion” in the same block. Following a confrontation with robbers, police ‘discovered a gun clip’ had been dropped by one of the suspects and that compelled Snyder to install a surveillance system. Joseph Snyder said his father was “beat up pretty bad,” but heard nothing of the police investigation into the incident.

Steve Spranger, who lives in the same block as Snyder, is another medical marijuana user and caregiver whose home has been targeted. On July 6, his wife Linda walked in on a man in their living room; he had stolen medication and a TV, and was working on disconnecting another TV when she walked in. Linda hid behind the bed and called 911, but the man left before police could arrive.

Spranger, a veteran who served in the U.S. Army for eight years, decided it was time to get a gun, which he now open carries. Even though guns used to scare her, his wife also plans to purchase one, because “an intruder scares me even more.”

But on Sunday night, despite the surveillance system and a warning sign hanging on his fence, Richard Snyder’s home was targeted by home intruders.

His son Joseph didn’t know if the robbers were armed, but said his father had hunting rifles in the house, and armed himself for his protection after three men kicked in his front door.

Sgt. Tom Tinklepaugh said two of the intruders escaped, but one suspect was hospitalized, undergoing surgery for his gunshot wound and is expected to survive.

“I can’t believe I shot the damn guy,” Spranger said. He called Snyder a “fantastic individual” who is soft-spoken and helpful, but understood all too well, “For him to do something like that, I totally understand.”

Spranger told neighbors they would “lock the block down” and has been talking to neighbors on his street of modest, older homes, about the neighborhood watch group he is starting up.

“I think we should be able to do whatever we want to protect our homes and our families,” said neighbor Diane Brown, who has four children.

“And people want to ban guns, huh?” Joseph Snyder said. “My father would be dead right now.”