DETROIT (WJBK) - An elderly man stays in his Detroit house for decades and refuses to leave even after being targeted by thieves over and over again.
Tragically he was killed during the latest robbery at home Tuesday.
Robert Peterson's niece says that whoever broke into the man's house and killed him probably did not leave with a whole lot of valuables or cash.
Now he'll probably spend the rest of his life behind bars when he's caught and he'll have to live with the fact he killed a man for nothing.
"This neighborhood is in ruins," said Lisa Solomon, Peterson's niece. "He got broke in about a month ago and this time they came back and they killed him."
Lisa Solomon tried to convince her uncle Robert Petersen to move out of his neighborhood on Detroit's east side. But he lived there for decades and his commitment to his home may have cost the 76-year-old his life
"We have a small family as is and he was the one we all looked up to," Solomon said. "Now it's just me my mother and my children."
Police are still trying to piece together the timeline of Peterson's murder.
Officers found his body inside his home in 19400 block of Albion during a well-being check.
"It appears he suffered multiple gunshots there was some forced entry to the house," said Capt. Eric Decker, Detroit police.
This woman who did not want to be identified, lives in the same neighborhood as Peterson, where abandoned homes nearly, if not, outnumber occupied dwellings.
Neighbors looked after one another. Now there's one less person to do so.
"Who's going to watch out for me and my family and now I don't have anybody to cook for," she said. "I can't cook for him anymore."
"He helped us all out he gave us all a place to stay," Solomon said. "He had been living here a long time, since I was 19. I'm 56 now. Whatever he could do for people, he did."
The medical examiner will conduct Peterson's autopsy tomorrow morning. They will have a good idea of when he was killed and that could help the investigation.
If you have any information call Detroit police at (313) 596-5200 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP where you can remain anonymous.