BENTON, Ark. (KTHV) -- Just after midnight, as a family in the town of Benton headed off to bed, they heard a gunshot just outside their home. Moments later, they heard a ring at their doorbell.
"It's always been a very safe place. We're not use to things like this happening," said one Benton resident.
Benton is a quiet town where crime scenes are rare, but in the wee hours of Friday morning, a knock at this family's door brought a crime scene to their front yard.
"By the time I got near the door, I could hear him screaming saying 'I've been shot, and I need help,'" recalled one Millbrook Lane resident, who wished not to be identified.
They said shots rang out in their backyard Friday morning, and moments later, a 29-year-old man shot in the chest made his way to her front door.
"I hear a gunshot first, so I don't know whether to trust him. I want to help him. I'm a nurse, so I want to help him, naturally, but I just could not take that risk. I just talked to him through the door. I didn't answer the door--just talked to him through the door and said, 'Help is on the way. I can't answer the door, but help is on the way,'" she said.
"The last update we have is that the victim is in ICU at a hospital in Little Rock," confirmed Lt. Kevin Russell with Benton Police.
Authorities are not releasing much information because the investigation is ongoing but said it's a rare case for Benton.
"We usually don't see that kind of crime very much at all here in Benton to begin with, and then, of course, nothing of this caliber in that neighborhood either," said Lt. Russell.
With the shooter still on the loose, the family who suddenly became involved hopes something like this doesn't happen again.
"I'm scared because I don't know if it was just something random. I don't know if it was somebody he knew. I've never seen anything like that in this area," the resident stated.
As for the victim in this case, police said they are not releasing his name because the investigation is still ongoing. They hope once his condition improves, he'll be able to give them more information about what happened.
Benton Police are still looking for leads in this case. If you have any information, you're encouraged to call their tip line at (501) 315-TIPS or text 'BNPD' plus your message to 274637 (CRIMES). Remember, you can remain anonymous.