A New Jersey woman allegedly shot dead an 'intruder' at her home, who turned out to be a friend that had popped in for a surprise visit.

Kelvin Watford, 50, was fatally shot in a house in Hamilton Township, dying of a gunshot wound to his chest. A woman told police she fired the shot believing her friend was an intruder.

Authorities said woman told them she had been speaking on the phone with Watford, who she said told her he was away on a trip in order to pay her a surprise visit on Thursday evening (17 November), the Associated Press reported.

But during the phone call, the woman alleged she heard a noise outside and her dog began barking. When she saw the shadow of a figure in her home, she grabbed her gun and fired – telling police she believed there was an intruder in her house.

The woman, who has not been named, called the authorities at around 11.20pm on Thursday night (17 November)., and an investigation into the incident has been launched. No charges have yet been filed.