Florida investigators are asking for the public’s help in solving the mysterious decade-old murder of an America Airlines pilot gunned down when he answered the front door of his ritzy Pompano Beach home.
Russell Walker, 50, was shot multiple times on Jan. 4, 2011, in what detectives believe was a targeted hit. Nothing was stolen, and authorities don’t believe the suspect ever entered the home.
“Likely, Mr. Walker answered the door and was immediately shot,” said Broward County Sheriff’s Office Cold Case Detective Zach Scott.
“We believe that after he was shot, he fell back into the entryway of the house and was shot again. We believe that the killer, before fleeing, shut the door,” the detective continued.
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Walker’s family grew worried when they didn’t hear from him for 10 days and sent a friend to drop by. But Walker didn’t open the door, and there was a foul odor emanating from the canal-front residence located an hour north of Miami, authorities said. Police arrived and found Walker face down in a pool of blood.
Walker, who had worked for American Airlines for 19 years, was divorced with no children. Before becoming a commercial pilot, he served as a naval aviator, flying F-14 Tomcats at the elite Top Gun school.
“There’s someone out there who shot my brother nine times, and he’s gotten 11 and a half more years of life, and that’s not right. And that will never be right with me,” said Russell’s brother, John Genzale. “It’ll always tear a hole in my heart.”
The family is stunned that anyone wanted Russell dead. “We just couldn’t believe it,” the victim’s sister, Diane Scott, said in a video interview released by the sheriff’s office. “Who doesn’t like Russ?”
After the Broward County Sheriff’s Office launched a Cold Case Homicide Investigations Unit in 2019, Detective Zach Scott gave the file a fresh look, re-interviewing witnesses.
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Scott told Fox News Digital that the team is exploring testing evidence that was collected back in 2011 before certain forensic technologies were available in a search for new clues.
“It’s the smallest things that can really break these cases,” he said.
The Broward County Sheriff’s Office and Walker’s family are asking the public to come forward with any information by contacting Scott at 954-321-4214 or Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477. There is a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
Walker was an avid skier, who was slated to compete in the American Airlines ski club in Colorado the same year he was murdered. A native of San Diego, he loved hunting, riding his motorcycle and boating, officials said.
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“It’s been really tough on the whole family,” Diane Scott said. “We all just want to know the answer. It would help our family move on.”