The victim's house was not the thief's target, but the homeowner got involved anyway.
Dallas police have a man in custody, but they aren't saying if he's the one who fired the shot.
The victim, 49-year-old Sostenes Sanchez, has improved and is now listed in good condition at Methodist Hospital.
While investigators are scant on details, his neighbors told FOX 4 that they very clearly saw a man run away from their alley into the woods with a rifle and backpack because of an attempted burglary that turned violent.
Most residents in the homeowner's neighborhood were at work while the suspect went to work trying to steal televisions, apparently trying to haul them away in a garbage can.
"Today is not pickup day, so that was kinda odd," said nearby neighbor Stella Esparza.
She says that odd behavior is what prompted Sanchez to ask the man what he was doing.
Police confirm the burglar then shot Sanchez and took off.
A neighbor told FOX 4 that two gunshots woke him up. Then, he saw a man run toward the woods nearby with a handgun.
Then he watched the man turn around and run back toward the homes, pick up a backpack and rifle, then return to the woods off Beau Purple Drive for good.
Police have one man in custody, but they won't say if he's the shooter or an accomplice.
"I think whoever the [suspect] is has some kind of emotional need, and hopefully he will grow and learn from this, as all of us do, that we're happy to have what we have," said Esparza.
Esparza has lived in the area for 40 years and is accustomed to the occasional break-in.
She says that Sanchez confronted a burglar trying to steal a television from his home a while back.
She describes him as hardworking, loving and decent, and doesn't understand how a stranger could harm him.
"The fact that [the suspect] was aggressive enough to have a gun and shoot at someone just asking a question, that's what is so surprising," said Esparza.
Nearby Mountain View College was on lockdown for a while.