HOUSTON The body of a man found murdered outside his home was surrounded by marijuana leaves. Investigators believe he may have been robbed and killed in some sort of drug deal gone wrong.

Neighbors reported hearing a loud bang around 5:15 a.m. but didn t see anything when they looked outside. About 30 minutes later, someone spotted the 56-year-old victim lying in the driveway.

Police say he was shot in the back with a shotgun.

Police say the victim had been secretly growing pot inside the house in the 3800 block of Bolivia Boulevard in northwest Houston. They found a trail of pot plants leading down the driveway and into the street.

Neighbors say they ve known the victim for 15 years and never suspected a thing.

Just can t believe it s right there next door to us, Miriam Garcia said. We had no idea. This man is very out in the public, around, we had no idea.

Garcia described the dead man as an animal lover who was frequently seen walking his dog.

Very nice guy, he s always been nice. Everyone knows him around here, said another neighbor. We re all animal lovers around here.

Police found a dog inside the house and animal control picked it up.

I hope they don t do anything to the dog, a neighbor said. I m worried about dog.

One neighbor, who didn t want to be identified, said the victim began acting weird last week.

He stopped me, pulled up in front of me, hauling it, and said, Have you seen a white guy? And I said, No why? And he says, He just broke into my house! And I m like, Oh my god!

The victim later told cops his bike had been stolen. His name has not been released.

Neighbors reported seeing two vehicles leaving the area immediately after hearing the gunshot.  They are described only as a light brown 2000-2005 Chevrolet Trailblazer and a white four-door sedan.

Anyone with information in this incident is urged to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS (8477).

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