LOCKEFORD (CBS13) — Questions are swirling about the death of a Lockeford man who was hit and killed on Highway 88 Wednesday morning.

In the small town with a population of a little more than 3,000, nothing stays open late or opens early, which is why so many were surprised to hear a man had been hit and killed at 5 a.m.

“He never goes out that early,” said Reyna McLay.

Perhaps no one is more surprised to hear the news, than his good friend Reyna.

“Really upset, really upset,” McLay said.

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Police say Alan Mahler was found badly hurt with injuries consistent of being hit with a car on Highway 88. It’s only 900 feet from where he has lived for more than a year.

McLay said something isn’t right.

“A few days ago he came here and told me, ‘Raynie come and see me because I’m dying,’” McLay said.

She said Mahler confided in her that someone had been threatening him. Even more alarming was that he left his home with nothing.

“He don’t have any shoes, or his glasses, or his phone. He can’t even walk without shoes,” she said.

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Neighbors say Mahler was out an about only during the day and some feel this deadly hit and run seems suspicious.

“Maybe somebody did it on purpose or was it really an accident,” she said.

Police say it’s too early to tell if the man’s death was intentional, and are searching for a suspect’s vehicle. Anyone with information should contact police.