Kansas City father Lamar Sharp was visiting a family friend when gunshots rang out the afternoon of April 9, KTLA sister station WDAF reported.
He ran outside to save his friend's 2-year-old great-grandson, but that's when those bullets hit him instead.
Relatives said Sharp stopped by his childhood babysitter's home near 53rd and Michigan 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," said Charlotte Barner, Sharp's mother.
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 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," Sharp's mom said.
He 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.
"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.