An elderly resident of Spokane, Washington, whom friends say was still full of life, passed away yesterday morning from injuries he sustained during a violent attack by two teens that local police say had no discernible motive.
Delbert Belton, a World War II veteran who was shot in the leg during the Battle of Okinawa, was waiting for a friend in his car outside the Eagle Lodge Wednesday night.
Longtime friend Lillian Duncan said the 88-year-old didn't want her walking home alone.
Around 8 PM he was suddenly jumped by two "young African American males of average build," according to the police report.
Officers were called to the scene, and rushed Belton to Sacred Heart Medical Center where he died the following morning.
"It does appear random," Spokane police Lt. Mark Griffiths said at a press conference. "It appears he was assaulted in the parking lot and there was no indication that he would have known these people prior to the assault."
Belton's friend Ted Denison, who knew him fondly as "Shorty," said the two would often meet at the lodge and play pool. On Saturday nights they would go dancing.
Belton, a widower, is survived by his 65-year-old son.