By Roz Plater, for ABC7 |

Residents in this Old Town Alexandria neighborhood are on edge after a 69-year-old grandfather was robbed and brutally beaten.

“We didn’t expect it…it happened one block from where we live…and it’s pretty scary,” his neighbor Jerusalem Shimeles told ABC7 News.

Alexandria Police says it happened in the 200 Block of South Alfred St. about 9:30 Monday night.

A family friend says Melaku Abraha had walked to a nearby ATM. They believe his attacker or attackers watched him take out money.

“Then they followed him, beat him. He was down and lost a lot of blood,” said family friend, Genet Mulugenat Ima.

She says he was beaten so badly, he was barely recognizable when she saw him at the hospital.

“When we get there, it’s hopeless. We cry…it’s very sad.”

Police say Melaku Abraha died from his head injuries four days later.

“I don’t know who did this to him,” Shimeles said. “Last time we had a big snow, he is the guy who helped us shovel. He’ll be missed, he’s a really nice guy.”

So far, police have not released any suspect information. Anyone who knows anything about the crime is asked to call investigators.

Source: WJLA
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