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Neighborly senior found slain in home

A 62-year-old man who often took bread to his neighbors and ran errands for them was killed inside his home Sunday, police said. Police on Monday had no suspects or motive in the death of Gene Kitterman.

Police were called to his home at 4646 Fourth Ave. S at 9:42 p.m. Sunday after a friend saw him on the floor inside.

"Somebody couldn't raise him, looked in the window and saw him lying on the floor," detective Sgt. Ed Billington said.

Police said Kitterman died as a result of trauma to his upper body, but police declined to describe the injuries.

Neighbors, who were being questioned by detectives Monday, still were shocked by the event.

"He was a mighty fine neighbor, and it's doomsday around here," said one woman, who did not want to be identified. "It's lonesome. He would go to the store for you, and he would cook you cookies.

Kitterman, who lived alone, worked for 10 years as a security guard and salesman for O'Neil Galleries, 1112 Central Ave. He came to St. Petersburg from the Chicago area and had a sister there, one neighbor said.

Ray Mattair, a co-owner of the gallery, said nothing seemed out of the ordinary when he talked to Kitterman on Sunday morning.

"He said he'd see me later in the day," Mattair said.

"He was just a really honest down-to-earth person. He was everyone's friend," Mattair said. "He'd just basically give you the shirt off his back."

Two neighbors said they did not see Kitterman or anyone else at his house Saturday or Sunday.

"All I can say is I'm awfully sorry because I've never had a better neighbor," one woman said. "I guess I don't have enough sense to be worried."

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