A 37-year-old man was shot dead Monday at a used car dealership in Japan's northeastern prefecture of Fukushima, police said.

The wife of the victim, identified as Takeshi Sakuma, called the police and reported that he appeared to have been shot while he was talking on the phone. Officers found Sakuma collapsed and bleeding from his head in a garage of the dealership in Sukagawa on Monday night, and he was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Sakuma suffered a gunshot wound in the head and police have launched a murder investigation.

A woman living near the dealership told Kyodo News that she heard loud noises including gunshots at around 6:30 p.m., with police and ambulance vehicles arriving shortly thereafter.

"I thought it was a traffic accident. To find out it was a murder is surprising, and scary," she said.