A frail 82-year-old man found in a pool of blood in his retirement unit was allegedly murdered by another resident of the Orelia complex.
Homicide detectives are now investigating what sparked could have sparked violence last Wednesday, with shocked neighbours saying they did not believe the pair really knew each other.
A friend found retired ship cook Allan Pedersen last Wednesday afternoon when she went to collect him for an eye appointment.
Margaret King said he did not open his door despite her banging and when she and another neighbour looked through a window, they saw Mr Pedersen collapsed on the floor of the lounge.
“There was a lot of blood, it wasn’t very nice,” she said.
She called for help and police were forced to break into the unit to reach him.
“I just stood back and let the police and the ambulance men sort him out,” she said.
“I think he was still alive when they took him out. It wasn’t very nice, it didn’t make me feel too good but there wasn’t much I could do about it.”
Mr Pedersen died later that evening in Fiona Stanley Hospital, sparking an investigation.
Police today charged Michael Andrew Dalton with murder. The 59-year-old had been at the same retirement complex for about a year and lived next door to Mr Pedersen.
Friend Suzan Street said she had not heard anything unusual last Wednesday morning and said it was awful to learn police believed Mr Pedersen had been murdered.
“I was really upset actually because I never expected him to go that way,” she said.
“He was a quiet gentleman, he kept to himself, he never caused anybody any trouble.”
She said Mr Dalton was also quiet.
“That’s the funny thing about it,” she said.
“I never heard him, I’d pass him in the car park he’d say hello. It’s a shock.”
She said Mr Dalton and Mr Pedersen did not hang out as far as she was aware and she had no idea what would have sparked any violence.
“Everybody’s pretty upset about it because Allan did not deserve this. “He was a really nice guy I’m going to miss him,” he said.
She said Mr Pedersen was frail, heavy-set, had prostate cancer and walked with a cane after having both knees replaced.
“He still managed to get around but not as fast as he used to,” she said. “He wouldn’t have been all that steady, he’d probably get knocked over with a feather.”
“I think I’ll be moving on [from the complex]… I really don’t feel safe anymore because you don’t know who’s going to be living next door to you.”
Ms King said she had known Mr Pedersen since she lived at the same complex a decade ago and described him as a quiet, happy gentleman.
She said he was once a cook in the merchant Navy.
Friends believe he was from Denmark or Sweden and did not have any family in Australia.
Mr Dalton appeared in court briefly today charged with murder. He was remanded in custody and was not required to enter a plea. He is expected to reappear in court later this month.