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Fundraiser for slain St. Paul Good Samaritan soars past $120K

Javier S. Yanez leaves behind a wife and four young children.

A tragedy in St. Paul this week has once again shined the light on good in the world as more than $120,000 has been raised for the family of a Good Samaritan who was shot dead while trying to help. 

Javier Sanmiguel Yanez, 31, died when he was shot in the head while trying to help motorists involved in a rear-end crash near his home in St. Paul. The crash happened around 10 p.m. Monday, Sept. 10, in the Payne-Phalen neighborhood at Case Ave. E. and Edgerton St. N. 

Yanez was among a group of witnesses who ran to the scene to help, but as Yanez was trying to open the hatch of one of the vehicles, the driver shot through the back window, with a bullet fatally striking Yanez. 

The man charged with murder in the case is 27-year-old Lionel Keejuan Eaton, whose mother told police that he might've been experiencing a mental health crisis, according to KARE 11.  

Money from the fundraiser will help Yanez's family, as his shocking death leaves his wife alone to raise their four young children. 

"Javier was a loving, upstanding and faithful man for his God, family, and community. Your donations mean more than can be said in words," the fundraiser explains. 

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The Ramsey County Attorney's Office has charged Eaton with one count of 2nd-degree murder and one count of 3rd-degree murder.

“This guy did exactly what I would want him to do, if I was injured in an accident. I’d want him to come to my aid, and he did exactly that. It’s extremely sad that he paid for (it with) his life," said St. Paul Police Sgt. Mike Ernster. 

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