Lionel Eaton, 27, is charged with one count of second-degree murder by drive-by shooting and one count of third-degree murder.
911 transcript recounts frantic moments good Samaritan shot, killed in St. Paul
Police say Eaton caused a chain-reaction crash Monday night in a neighborhood in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Neighbors who heard the crash, including 31-year-old Javier Sanmiguel Yanez, rushed out of their homes.
Yanez and several others began looking for the driver who had triggered the crash, which damaged at least four cars.
Neighbors say Eaton had climbed into the back of a hatchback after the crash. They thought he might have been injured, so they opened the hatch to check. Thats when the suspect allegedly began shooting from inside the car.
We noticed he was in the back of the hatch. When the gentleman across the street tried to open the lever and asked him to get out, that is when he opened fire… Thats a monster to open fire on innocent people just trying to help everybody, said a witness only identified as Maya.
Sanmiguel Yanez’s family is being helped by a family friend, Zita Larson, a teacher at the St. Agnes Catholic School in Frogtown. Larson has created a GoFundMe fundraising page to help with the funeral and family expenses.
“There was no reason for him to fire, none. No one was being aggressive towards him or anything like that, said Charlie, a neighbor who was right next to Yanez when he was shot.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the victims family. It has already raised more than $25,000.
The occupant of the crashed Ford Escape, 27-year-old Lionel Keejuan Eaton of Roseville, was charged Tuesday in connection with the fatally shooting.
“This guy did exactly what I would want him to do, if I was injured in an accident. Id want him to come to my aid, and he did exactly that. Its extremely sad that he paid for his life, said Sgt. Mike Ernster with Saint Paul Police.
Eaton is in custody at the Ramsey County Jail. His first court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday morning.
They’ve raised more than $80,000 as of Thursday morning, surpassing their original goal of $50,000.
Police say Yanezs death was one of three separate fatal shootings in the city in less than nine hours.
Javier Sanmiguels wife, Kayla, told dispatchers that shots had been fired after the crash in front of their Payne-Phalen home. While she was on the phone, she asked a man next to her if he knew who had been shot. He said, Javier.
The dispatcher tried to get her attention as the man kept her from going outside, saying that the shooter was still out there.
Sanmiguels wife began screaming. My husband was shot! Please, get over here please! My husband was shot! Please, please please! [Crying, screaming], the transcript shows.