Muslim man beaten to death with shovel by construction worker he hired: police
Michael Troxell (Screenshot/KGW)

A Portland man is being held on suspicion of murdering an elderly Muslim man with a shovel, the Oregonian reports.

Michael Troxell, 27, is being held without bail on suspicion of using homicidal violence against Abdul Jamil Kamawal, 68. Police responded to a 911 call of a man being attacked with a shovel, and when they arrived found Kamawal covered in straw. He died soon after from his injuries.

Authorities have yet to pinpoint the cause of death but arrested Troxell shortly after finding Kamawal, KATU reports. He is being held without bail at Washington County Jail, facing murder charges.

Troxell and Kamawal didn't know each other, but Troxell was doing construction work on Kamawal's property, police told reporters.

Kamawal is meantime being remembered as a "pillar" of the local Muslim community, KGW reports. While friends and family were too grief-stricken to talk on camera, they told KGW he was "the type of person you could ask for anything.”

Kamawal was a retired 22-year survey technician for Washington County and worked to help refugees settle in the Portland area. He founded two non-profit organizations to help people from his native Afghanistan.

In response to Kamawal's murder, his former employer, the Washington County Department of Land Use and Transportation, released this statement, as reported by KGW.

"He often went back to Afghanistan to help rebuild his home village of Kama, and he founded two non-profit organizations – the Afghan Aid Association and the Oregon-based Kama Relief Corp. Both organizations are dedicated to rebuilding lives and communities in Afghanistan. Employees are speaking about how kind Jamil was; former coworkers have said that working with Jamil made them better, kinder people."

Watch the report, from KGW, here: