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St. Paul Good Samaritan shot dead trying to help at crash scene was father of four

The 31-year-old was shot as he tried to help after a crash near his home.

The Good Samaritan shot dead while trying help at the scene of a car accident in St. Paul has been identified as a 31-year-old father-of-four. 

Javier Sanmiguel Yanez "was running out to help those in a car accident outside of his home," a GoFundMe campaign for his family says. According to St. Paul Police, the crash happened around 10 p.m. Monday in the Payne-Phalen neighborhood at Case Ave. E. and Edgerton St. N. 

Police reported that the four-vehicle crash included a male suspect rear-ending a vehicle going south on Edgerton, sending both cars crashing into parked vehicles. 

Yanez came out of his nearby home and was trying to help the drivers when the suspect, Lionel Keejuan Eaton, opened fire from inside the vehicle, fatally striking Yanez in the head. 

The GoFundMe explains that the senseless killing leaves four young children without a father and a wife without a husband.

"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, which has raised more than $30,000, 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. 

According to KARE 11, Eaton's mother informed police that her son may have been experiencing a mental health crisis, with Eaton telling police that he thought he was "rammed" by another vehicle and thought he heard gunshots. 

Yanez was one of a handful of witnesses to the crash to check on the drivers. One of the witnesses told KARE 11 that Yanez was opening the back hatch of Eaton's vehicle when shots were fired through the back window. 

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