"He got to be 73-years-old only to be murdered."

ATLANTA - A loving grandfather and Vietnam veteran was shot and killed while trying to help his niece move away from someone his family is calling an abusive ex-boyfriend.

Otha Orr was a 73-year-old who lived in Marietta. His family described him as a protector, a loving family man. Now, they're heartbroken and angry.

11Alive's LaTasha Givens spoke to Orr's daughter about her father. "It sickens me, I'm angry, I'm hurt."

"My father was not only our protector in our immediate family, but everyone in our family on that side looked to him as a protector," Stephanie Orr's daughter said. "That is why he was actually the person that they called."

Photos | Otha Orr, Vietnam veteran killed in shooting

On Thursday, Orr and his younger brother arrived at an apartment on Peeples St. in Atlanta to help their niece move out of an apartment she shared with her ex-boyfriend, 57-year-old Donald Ray Woods.

The family said the three were confronted by Woods when they tried to enter the apartment. According to an arrest warrant, the niece told police he "quickly ran inside and emerged with a weapon."

That's when witnesses said Woods pistol-whipped her uncle. That uncle told police he saw Woods take the safety off of the gun and fire one shot. He said Orr came over to help get the gun away from Woods.

The niece told police Woods stood over Orr and said "I am gonna get you. You are not gonna get her away from me." Witnesses said a struggle ensued over the gun before Orr was shot twice. He died at the scene.
After the gunshot, the niece told police she fled the scene.

"It hurts me to know that my father was in a position where he could not defend himself and that a coward stood over him, my father, and in cold blood shot him in the head and murdered him," Stephanie said.

Woods is claiming self-defense. His lawyer told 11Alive that the niece did not use her house key and instead caused confusion, saying Woods didn't know the men's intentions.

Donald Woods, photo courtesy Fulton Co.Sheriff's Office

Attorney Nicole Thomas said, "She did not use the key. The two gentlemen tried to force their way inside, so at that point, he had no knowledge of who they were or why they were coming into his home."

Woods fled the scene and turned himself into police after a manhunt.

Woods is charged with felony murder and felony aggravated assault. He was scheduled to be in court Friday for a first appearance before but waived his right.