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.

The KC dad ran outside to save the friend's 2-year-old great grandson, but that's when those bullets hit him instead.

Charlotte Barner said her son had a heart of gold.

"He was a wonderful son, a wonderful brother and a wonderful father. He was just all that in one. He loved his family," Barner said.

She said, like any dad, Sharp cherished his 13-year-old daughter.

"He loved his daughter to the point of no end. She was the jewel of his life," Barner said.

For the last six years, the young entrepreneur also enjoyed rehabbing homes.

"He bought a couple of properties and rehabbed a couple that people are living in right now and he was able to assist on Section 8 and all," Barner said. "Lamar also had a couple more properties that he was starting to rehab. He always wanted to start his own business. He was just a great, all around person who helped everybody."

On the afternoon of April 9, relatives said Sharp stopped by his childhood babysitter's home in Kansas City. Once a week he would check on the elderly woman.

"That's no surprise to me. That's just who he was," said Sharp's aunt, Lisa Barner.

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

Bullets suddenly flew. Police said several men walked down the street, fired shots at the crowd and then ran. Police still don't know why.

"And everybody just ran into the home," Charlotte Barner said.

But not Sharp.

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

Sadly, the brave "protector" 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," Charlotte Barner said.

"I want justice for Lamar. I want police to catch the people who did this. I want justice for all innocent people who have died so senselessly," Lisa Barner said.

There's been some comfort for the family. Sharp has now given 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," Charlotte Barner said.

Sharp's funeral will be held on Saturday.

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