Sister: Okinawa veteran killed by teen 'creeps'
SPOKANE — Police in Spokane, have arrested one of two teens suspected of fatally beating an 88-year-old veteran of World War II.
According to officials, calls came in to police about 8 p.m. Wednesday, with witnesses reporting an assault outside Eagle's Lodge, a popular gathering spot that offers bingo, poker and pool.
Officers found Delbert Belton there, inside his car, with serious head injuries. He was transported to a local hospital, where he died.
“It does appear random,” detective Mark Griffiths said.
Police contend that two 16-year-old boys approached Belton in his car as he was waiting for a friend.
Belton, born and raised in Spokane, joined the Army during World War II.
He was wounded on Okinawa, site of one of the fiercest battles of the war.
The killing has stunned friends and family, sent shock waves through the city and sparked outrage on social media.
Barbara Belton described her father-in-law's death as “horrendous” and decried the possible motives of the killers, adding that the widower would not carry more than $150 in his wallet.
“Who beats an 88-year-old man in the face?” she told NBC News.
“He fought for this country,” said Belton's sister, Alberta Tosh. “Then he comes home and a couple of creeps kill him in the worst way.”
Police Chief Frank Straub said there was no information that the attack was motivated by anything other than robbery.
A makeshift memorial for Belton was set up outside Eagle's Lodge, with flowers, candles and military insignia.