Delbert Belton embodied the best this country has to offer. The 88 year-old World War II vet answered his nation’s call to arms and was wounded in the battle of Okinawa. Wednesday, Belton was savagely beaten to death by two unidentified black males, in what appears to be a random attack outside the Eagles Lodge in Spokane, WA where he was playing pool with friends.
K-9 units were sent to track down those responsible but came up empty. Belton, or “Shorty” as his friends called him is remembered as a kind man and a great friend. We all hope for the quick capture of those punks responsible for this unspeakable crime and swift justice! Below we have included a picture of the suspects.
Update: Police confirmed the arrest but did not identify the suspect accused in the Wednesday parking lot attack.
Authorities continue to search for another suspect who is described as an African-American male between the ages of 16 and 19.
SPOKANE, Wash. – WWII veteran Delbert Belton survived being wounded in action during the Battle of Okinawa only to be beaten and left for dead by two teens at the Eagles Lodge in Spokane on Wednesday evening. Belton, 88, succumbed to his injuries Thursday morning at Sacred Heart Medical Center.
Witnesses say Belton was in the parking lot of the Eagles Lodge at 6410 N. Lidgerwood, adjacent to the Eagles Ice-A-Rena, around 8 p.m. Wednesday when the two male suspects attacked him as he was about to head inside to play pool.
Police responded with K-9s to track the suspects’ scent but were not able to locate them.
“It does appear random. He was in the parking lot, 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,” Spokane Police Major Crimes Detective Lieutenant Mark Griffiths said.
Belton died from his injuries Thursday morning at Sacred Heart Medical Center.
“Shorty,” as he was known by his friends at the Eagles Lodge, served in the U.S. Army in the Pacific during WWII and was shot in the leg during the Battle of Okinawa. He went on to work at Kaiser Aluminum at the company’s Trentwood plant for more than 30 years. Belton’s wife passed away several years ago.
He loved playing pool, even though he claimed he was no good at it and had been a member of the Eagles Lodge for the last four months. In addition to playing pool he loved working on cars.
Shorty was Ted Denison’s best friend of 23 years; the two played pool occasionally and worked on cars daily.
“He was always there for me when I needed him,” Denison said. “We’d joke back and forth. We were always having fun, some sort of fun.”
He was the kind of nice old man who’d become your friend in minutes.
“Probably every time I come into town, he’d have a project for me to do,” Denison said. “I thought of him more as a dad than I did a friend really.”
Now, with the suspects still at large and the Spokane Police Department working to track them down, Shorty’s friends are hoping for justice.
“I don’t understand how somebody could do this. I really don’t,” Denison said.
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