Investigators in West Memphis, Arkansas, told WHBQ-TV a would-be robber set his sights on a man who was simply collecting trash early Saturday morning.
"The garbage man was doing his duty and the guy was about to rob him," a woman who didn't want to be identified added to WHBQ.
Worse still about the incident in front of the Sunset Inn's office? The culprit confronted the victim at gunpoint, KAIT-TV reported.
But what the would-be robber likely didn't bank on was that his victim also had a gun — and used it, KAIT reported.
Gunshots rang out — one motel guest told KAIT he heard three to four of them — and the alleged perpetrator was pronounced dead at the scene.
What are police saying about the shooting?
Police told KAIT the shooting appears justified and that no arrests were made. The suspect's name hasn't been released, the station added.
Here's the police department's statement to KAIT:
“This is a terrible tragedy in which a young man lost his life this morning. We hope that anyone who entertains the idea of committing a crime like this takes the time to realize the tragic consequences that can come out of it. In these investigations we have to also protect the rights of our citizens to be able to defend themselves when presented with a deadly threat such as this.”
Police added to WHBQ that the information will presented to the prosecutor's office for review.
What else did the unidentified woman have to say?
The unidentified woman who spoke to WHBQ — who lives at the motel — added to the station that the fatally shot man is a close family friend.
"He got married and moved out of town and was doing good," the woman added to WHBQ. "I didn't even know he was back."
She added to the station that the killed man has children: "It don't make sense."