Police are on the lookout for two suspects after an 88-year-old World War II veteran died following a beating he sustained in a Spokane, Wash., parking lot.
Delbert "Shorty" Belton lived in Spokane for most of his life following his discharge from the Army after the war.
According to police Lt. Mark Griffiths, the suspects were described as black males of average build, 16-19 years old, wearing black clothing and red sneakers. It is believed that they attacked Belton at random.
"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," Griffiths said.
Belton is remembered by family and friends as a kind, generous person who helped many people. At the time of the beating, he was waiting in the parking lot for a friend because he did not want her to be walking alone.
"He was so awesome," said Lillian Duncan, a longtime friend. "Anybody that didn't get to know him missed out on a wonderful angel in their life."
Belton's great-nephew, Allen Hills, said the WWII veteran came to his aid with the offer of a car and a fresh start in Washington State after he had hit a rough patch in life.
"If it wouldn't have been for him, I wouldn't have been able to get my life straight," Hills said. "It seems trivial, but he really did save my life. He made it possible for me to get a job and find work."
A wave of "senseless violence" has been sweeping across Spokane recently, NBC News reported.
"It's too much, and it's constant and never-ending," Hills said. "He wasn't just my great-uncle. He was a great person, and he didn't deserve to die like that."