The victim, identified as Michael Compton, 53, was found at about 3:15 a.m. Wednesday in the 500 block of Ford Lane SW in Orting after his wife went looking for him.
Police believe he interrupted a burglary in his garage, perhaps a gas theft, and it turned deadly when his own shotgun was turned against him.
Compton's mother-in-law said he had interrupted a burglary of a neighbor's car recently and the suspects may have returned, but police are not confirming this.
Police aren't saying if they have any leads or a "person of interest" in the case.
Compton's family said he worked as a fraud inspector for Key Bank and was an active community leader.
Neighbors were in shock over the shooting.
"This is really close to home - I mean right next door," said Laurence McLaughlin, whose property is adjacent to the one where the man was found dead.
McLaughlin's wife, Mary, said, "I'm feeling pain and concern for our neighbors and all the people that are affected by this, plus kind of confused and wondering what happened. ... That doesnt seem to be the kind of thing to happen in our neighborhood."