CHEROKEE COUNTY, Oklahoma - People in a Cherokee County community are in shock after a well-known rancher was shot to death in his home just west of Keys.

Investigators said it was around 6:30 Monday morning when a 911 call came in from Charley Kirk’s property. It was from a ranch hand who found Kirk dead in a hallway in the home.

The 88 year old lived on the property his entire life, and Monday the thousands of acres of sprawling land turned into a crime scene.

"It was apparent to us, and to people who had never been in the house, that it had been gone through," said Creek County Undersheriff, Jason Chennault.

They believe Kirk probably woke up when he heard something, scared the person who had entered the house and was then shot three times.

Investigators said if he had felt his life was in danger in any way he hadn't vocalized it to any of them.

"He was almost 90 years old and lived here his whole life. He was very generous and kind to people and people appreciate that and are outraged this happened," Chennault said.

Family said Kirk was also in the late stages of cancer, but, even as of Sunday, was able to ride his horse.

The sheriff’s office has been flooded with calls from people wanting to help in any way they can.

"You have someone like this that’s loved in the community, people are gonna help, even if the suspect is someone that they’re close to. I have a feeling that we’re gonna find that out pretty soon,” said Chennault.

Investigators said, with the lack of witnesses in the case, it could be up to the public to help them solve it.

They ask anyone with information to call the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office.