By Mike Hellgren

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Linda Thompson is still struggling to understand who killed her 97-year-old friend and neighbor Waddell Tate.

The murder has shaken much of Baltimore.

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“When I heard that man had been beaten it just sank down in my stomach,” Thompson said. “This right here is not fair. At the age of 97 why would you take his life. It doesn’t belong to you. Catch them. Turn over rocks, pull up steps. I don’t care. Catch them.”

Tate, known as “Pop Pop” was killed one week ago, during the day, inside his home on Darley Avenue in East Baltimore.

Somebody may have gained access to his basement door. They ransacked the house and there was trauma to his body.

“He didn’t do nothing but take his walk and sit on his porch,” neighbor Marie Hunt said.  “Just a shock that somebody would do something like that.”

“A 97-year-old man and kill him. You try to rob him and kill him. It’s very, very very unfair,” said friend and neighbor Joseph Cuffie.

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Police canvassed the neighborhood and put out fliers to look for clues. They say they have few good leads while other neighbors are on edge.

“We’re talking about a 97-year-old man, it’s absolutely inhumane. It’s something honestly I’ve never seen before,” said T.J. Smith of the Baltimore Police Department. “If that person is capable of killing a 97 year old, you are not safe.”

For a city experiencing one of its most violent years on record, this killing hits especially hard.

“This has been one of the worst years of my 63 in this city. I’ve never seen such, in all the days of my life,” Thompson said.

Police vow not to give up until they’ve made an arrest.

Anyone with any information is urged to call Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7-lockup.

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