HAMILTON, NJ (CBS) – An investigation is underway after police say a woman shot and killed a man she thought was an intruder, but turned out to be her friend apparently trying to surprise her.
Authorities say around 11:23 p.m. Thursday night, police received a 911 call from a woman on Genesee Street in Hamilton Township.
Police say the woman stated she just shot an intruder inside of her home. Authorities say she then said she accidentally shot her friend.
Upon arrival, officers located the victim, identified as 50-year-old Kelvin Watford of Willingboro, New Jersey.
Watford was lying at the bottom of the steps with an apparent gunshot wound the chest, police say.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Authorities say the investigation is in the early stages, but it appears the homicide was accidental.
The female told police she was on the phone with Watford, who said he was returning from a trip and was not in the immediate area.
Investigators believe he was trying to surprise her.
Police say the woman said as she was talking to Watford on the phone, she heard a dog barking and noises outside of her house. As the noises continued, she grabbed her gun.
Authorities say she heard someone inside of her house walk to her bedroom door, while she was still on the phone.
Police say she opened the bedroom door, saw a shadow of a person in the dark on the stairs, and fired one gunshot.
Denise Jones, who says her sister is the person that shot Watford and is the homeowner, tells Eyewitness News, “It is a tragic accident. She wasn’t expecting him to be coming to the house. He had told her he was on the George Washington Bridge.”
Once Denise heard her sister honking at her, she told CBS 3’s Cleve Bryan, “I have to stop now.”
“His life shouldn’t have been snuffed away like this, he’s a great man,” says Watford’s younger brother Charles Horsley. He says Watford was returning home from a business trip to Maine. He was a safety instructor for Laborers Local 172.
A woman who lives in the home on Genese Street wouldn’t talk to Eyewitness News.
Authorities say no charges have been filed and the investigation is ongoing.