Friends Shocked over Murdered WWII Vet

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A World War II veteran in Spokane, Wash. was savagely beaten to death for no apparent reason Wednesday.

The attack took place in the parking lot of the lodge for the Fraternal Order of the Eagles. Eight-eight-year-old Delbert Belton was found in his car with serious head injuries and died a short time later in the hospital.

Police have arrested one suspect in the senseless murder and are looking for another. They have not yet named the suspect taken into custody.

His accomplice is described as an African-American male between the ages of 16 and 19. Police say it does not appear Belton knew his attackers and that the murder was random.

Belton was reportedly beaten about the head with flashlights and was found bleeding from several areas on his skull.

People who knew Belton are shocked and dismayed that such a terrible thing happened to such a kind and loving gentleman, who was affectionately known as "Shorty."

Ted Denison has been friends with Shorty for the last 23 years.

"I thought of him more as a dad than I did a friend, really," Denison said. "He was always there for me when I needed him. I don't understand how somebody could do this. I really don't."

A friend identified only as Betty said, "He was just such a nice person, for God's sake. I don't think Shorty had a mean bone in his body."

"Anybody that didn't get to know him missed out on a wonderful angel in their life," Lillian Duncan, another friend, said.

Belton served in the Army during World War II and was shot in the leg during the Battle for Okinawa. After the war he worked for Kaiser Aluminum for 30 years. His wife passed away several years ago.

The Spokane Police Department is asking anyone with information to call their hotline at (509) 456-2233.

This is the second random killing this week to make national headlines. College baseball star Chris Lane was gunned down in road daylight in Oklahoma.

Three teenagers were charged in the case, one of them telling police they just did it because they were bored. A source close to the case said none of the suspects had proper father figures in their lives.

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