MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Bail has been set for a 27-year-old man charged with the murder of a good Samaritan who was shot and killed while responding to a St. Paul crash.
On Wednesday, WCCO’s Reg Chapman reports that bail was set for $1 million for Lionel Keejuan Eaton in the shooting death of Javier Sanmiguel.
Eaton faces one count of second-degree murder by drive-by shooting and one count of third-degree murder in connection to the fatal shooting Monday evening.
The family of Eaton left court Wednesday holding one another up. They were distraught after learning he would be held behind bars until his next court appearance.
Attorney Mark Kelly told the judge his client is a business owner who speaks to young people about staying out of trouble. In a statement to WCCO, Kelly said “Mr. Eaton has no history of violent behavior, he was cooperative with police and he informed police that he acted out of fear for his own safety.”
According to the criminal complaint, Eaton was behind the wheel of a car responsible for a multiple vehicle accident near Edgerton Street and Case Avenue in St. Paul. A number of residents ran outside to help.
“So we walked around the vehicle and we noticed he was in the back of the hatch of his vehicle and when the gentleman across the street tried to open the lever and ask him to get out is when he opened fire,” said May, a witness to the shooting.
The complaint says Eaton’s mother arrived at the scene after the shooting. She told investigators that her son had been acting erratic and paranoid, recently saying that someone was trying to kill him.
She said that she was concerned he was having a mental health crisis.
Eaton’s mother went on the say she had been on the phone with him the night of the shooting, trying to reach him so she could get him evaluated at a hospital, when the phone suddenly went silent. She went driving around looking for him when she happened across the accident and shooting scene.
The complaint says Eaton told police he was rammed by another car that night and hit his head, thinking he heard gunshots. He went on the say he was panicked and feared for his life.
Eaton’s next court appearance is set for Oct. 4 at 1:30 p.m.
A GoFundMe account has been set up for the family of Sanmiguel. He leaves behind a wife and four young children.