One teenage boy has been arrested and another is still being sought by police for the murder of 88-year-old Delbert "Shorty" Belton, a World War II vet who was beaten to death Wednesday night outside his favorite hangout: the Eagles Lodge in Spokane, Wash.
The teenage suspect has been charged with first-degree robbery and first-degree murder, according to CNN
He was picked up around 10 p.m. Thursday, reports The Los Angeles Times
. Images of two black suspects, taken by surveillance cameras mounted at local businesses, were released by Spokane police after Belton was found inside his car, unconscious and with severe head injuries, the Times said. Belton died Thursday morning from the beating.
The Eagles Lodge is a popular bar where Belton often played pool.
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"It does appear random," Spokane police Lt. Mark Griffiths told reporters. "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
The Los Angeles Times reports the teen who was has been arrested has a lengthy record, including a conviction in 2012 for fourth-degree assault, obstructing a police officer and misdemeanor rioting, according to juvenile court officials.
Belton was a Purple Heart recipient who survived the Battle of Okinawa after taking a shot in the leg, CNN quoted friends as saying. He retired after working at an aluminum company for more than 30 years.
A candlelight vigil will be held at 8:30 p.m. Friday at the Eagles Ice-A-Rena in Spokane, adjacent to the Eagle’s Lodge where Belton, who was white, was killed.
Friends and family are stunned by the apparently meaningless slaying.
Belton's death has added fuel to the already raging racial fire that started with last week's thrill killing of Australian baseball player Christopher Lane, who was studying at East Central University in Oklahoma.
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Some media members slammed the senseless attack against Belton and the mainstream media's lack of response to it.
This week, the White House and Rev. Jesse Jackson were blasted online for their responses
to the murder of Lane, a white Australian collegiate baseball player studying at East Central University in Oklahoma.
Lane, 22, was reportedly murdered last week by three teens — two of whom were African American — because they were "bored" and "just wanted to see someone die," according to police.
Conservative pundits said the media responses were hypocritical.
"What if the victim here [Lane] had a chance to see future attackers? And what if he crossed the street or went down a different block to get away from them?" radio host Steve Malzberg asked on "The Steve Malzberg Show" earlier this week. "You know what you could accuse him of? You could accuse him of profiling. … Oh, but that would've been racist. … That would have been terrible, and racial profiling's against the law and that makes him a bigot and he would be making an assumption that these kids were trouble."
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