Wadell Tate, 97, a World War II veteran and retired refinery worker, was bludgeoned to death in his pajamas inside his Baltimore home during a burglary, becoming one of the city's oldest homicide victim in decades while the city struggles to quell the growing number of murders.
Mr. Tate's story has made national headlines after being first covered by The Baltimore Sun in late July. According to local police, Tate died from blunt force trauma. He was discovered by his family around 6:50 p.m. on July 21. His death was ruled a violent homicide after police found signs of forced entry at the rear part of the home, where he'd lived for 60 years. Police have yet to identify a suspect.
Police spokesperson T.J. Smith, whose own brother was killed in a break-in just weeks before, called the crime "absolutely inhumane," adding, "Whatever they needed from him, they could have easily gotten. Easily. But they decided to take his life in a brutal way. We need answers and sadly we don't have any."
Baltimore has experienced 211 violent deaths this year, according to city figures obtained by Yahoo! News. Although Tate's neighborhood had experienced serious issues with crime, he'd refused to move from the home he'd owned for six decades.
Violent crime in the city rose 22 percent in 2016, while the murder rate rose to 78 percent, according to a statement from Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The city has also struggled under an erosion of trust between some communities and the police following the 2015 death of Freddie Gray, who died while in police custody.
Sadly, despite this community's efforts, another two people were killed over this past weekend, in a string of deaths that illustrate the dire situation in an already desperate city.
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