Missouri father dies after saving friend’s toddler from gunfire at picnic

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Lamar Sharp was visiting a family friend when gunshots rang out.

Relatives said Sharp stopped by his childhood babysitter's home in Kansas City April 9. He checked on the elderly woman once a week.

That day, a huge crowd gathered next door at the woman's son's home for a picnic.

Then, bullets started flying. Police said several men walked down the street, fired shots at the crowd and then ran. The motive is still unknown.

"And everybody just ran into the home," Charlotte Barner, Sharp's mother, said.

But not Sharp.

"He just ran towards the baby, and that's when he was shot," Barner said.

He was shot three times, including twice in his head, while running to save his friend's 2-year-old great-grandson who was all alone on the front lawn.

"Just trying to save a baby, and that was his instincts. When it comes to kids, he's always been a protector," Barner said.

Sharp, father of a 13-year-old girl,  died five days before his 32nd birthday.

"It's just sad and unbelievable. It's been very devastating. I haven't been able to go back to work. I mean I can't work a full day. I live in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and to get that phone call -- it's just so hard on me," Barner said.

Sharp's ability to look out for others wasn't stifled by his death; he was able to give the gift of life.

"I've learned a 50-year-old man got his liver. A middle-aged female got one of his kidneys. I am so proud of him. I didn't even know he was an organ donor. He's a hero. He's always been my hero at heart," Barner said.

Sharp's funeral will be held Saturday.

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