Robber shot to death at West Memphis motel

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WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. -- West Memphis Police say a man was shot to death after trying to rob someone early Saturday morning.

Rumors of a robbery gone awry swept through each floor of the Sunset Inn.

New and current guests worried about their safety after an attempted robbery left a would-be crook dead at the motel.

"I don't want to get hurt by some crazy guy out there," John Hong said.

The vacancy sign at the Sunset Inn is still flashing across this scrolling marquee but just before dawn on Saturday morning, it wasn't the only thing lighting up the place.

That's because red and blue lights flooded this parking lot after gunshots rang out.

"I heard it this morning about 3, 4 or 5 and it woke me up and I got scared so I haven't been out of my room until now," another guest said.

The man didn't want to be identified but says he's been staying at the motel for about two weeks.

He says he heard at least three gunshots from his room. He stayed put out of fear.

The abrupt wake-up call shook him to the core and he says he hasn't been able to rest since.

"I've been up since 5:45. I couldn't sleep," the man said.

Police say the shooting itself may have been justified. According to them, after questioning the man who allegedly pulled the trigger it seems the shooter was the victim of a robbery attempt where during a struggle between the two men.

Police say the would-be robber lost the fight.

"It totally blew my mind. I had no idea what  I was getting into over here," Hong said.

Police calling the loss of the young man a tragedy but using this outcome as a reminder of the tragic consequences that can come out of committing crimes.

West Memphis PD released this statement about the shooting:

“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.”