The shooting happened just after midnight in a neighborhood near Houston.
Glenn Smith, 66, was cleaning fish and preparing dinner in his kitchen when investigators say someone in the backyard shot through the window. The bullet went through Smith's arm, then into his chest.
After Smith was shot, he and his wife asked Alexa, their Amazon virtual assistant, to dial 911. It's not clear if either had access to a phone.
But the device couldn't help, responding, "You must try another device."
Watch: So why couldn't Alexa help? Here are three reasons.
Smart speakers, like Alexa, only offer one-way dialing. If Smith had been able to connect, the 911 operator would not have been able to hear him.
Smart speakers don't have real-time GPS data, meaning police can't locate where the 911 call is coming from, as they can with a landline or cell phone.
Smith and his wife ended up driving to the North Cypress Medical Center. Smith's son said that his father is still recovering at the hospital and is expected to be okay.
The shooter ran off. There is no description of the gunman at this point, and no clear motive for the shooting.