Two teens are the suspects in the beating death of a WWII vet outside a Spokane, Washington lounge on Wednesday night, and one of them has been arrested. Police are asking for the public's help in locating the other suspect.
There appears to be no motive for the brutal beating of 88-year old Delbert Belton, who was playing pool at the Eagles Lodge that night. It was a place he was familiar with and visited often, and friends say he had no enemies and had no prior issues with anyone at the business.
“He was an Army veteran,” Glenn Longsdorff, Belton’s roommate, said. “In fact, he was shot when he was 18-years-old on the beaches of Okinawa. He’ll do anything in the world for anybody.”
Officials say the attack appears to have been a random assault and already have one of the suspects in custody after going over surveillance tapes. The two young men--both aged 16--allegedly beat Belton with a flashlight. He died from massive head trauma.
"He didn't drive a big fancy car. He didn't dress in expensive clothes. He didn't have a lot of money. He had very little money," Belton's daughter-in-law Barbara said. "What did they think they were going to get from this man?"
The Spokane Police Department released a statement regarding the murder, asking for the public's help in apprehending the second suspect.
"I would like to extend my condolences to the family of the victim, Delbert Belton, a WWII veteran who served his country and suffered injuries during his time in Okinawa," said Chief Straub. "Since receiving the initial call on Wednesday night, the Spokane Police Department has been working tirelessly to identify and apprehend the suspects in this attack. Late last night Spokane Police arrested one of the suspects, a 16-year-old male charged him with 1st degree robbery and 1st degree murder. Spokane Police Major Crimes Detectives have probable cause to arrest a second suspect, 16 year old Kenan Adams-Kinard in connection to the homicide. We are asking for the community's assistance in helping us to locate Adams-Kinard and bring him to justice. We would encourage Mr. Adams-Kinard to surrender immediately. Anyone with information is asked to call 911. The Spokane Police Department is dedicated to protecting the community and bringing those who harm or threaten residents to justice."
There will be a candlelight vigil in the parking lot of the Eagles Ice Arena tonight for those who want to pay their respects.
Image courtesy Ted Denison