Skip to main content

Monaca, PA — Kenneth Vineyard, 48, is the type of man who would run up to a complete stranger who lay bleeding on the ground and do anything he could to help him. In fact, that is exactly what he did on Sunday when a shooting unfolded in a Walmart parking lot. Unfortunately for Vineyard, however, this would be his last act of kindness thanks to Pennsylvania's finest — who killed him for it.

Vineyard's family is now demanding justice after an officer with the Center Township Police Department walked up to Vineyard as he helped a complete stranger and killed him.

"This appears to be another instance of senseless police violence," said attorney Joel Sansone, according to KDKA.

According to police, Vineyard was at the Monaca Walmart with his fiancé on Sunday afternoon when gunfire erupted in the parking lot. Vineyard was not involved in the shooting. Police said Rashaun Smith, 20, was shot in the abdomen by Yeshua Bratcher, 23, and Vineyard simply ran up to Smith and began rendering aid.

"As the victim of that shooting lay bleeding, a Good Samaritan named Kenneth Vineyard rushed to the victim to render aid," said Sansone.

Vineyard stopped Smith's bleeding until paramedics arrived. When paramedics began helping Smith, Vineyard backed away and let them work. That's when a man in plainclothes — who was a Center Township police officer — approached Vineyard and began barking orders.

Vineyard told the officer that he had just helped the shooting victim and was trying to make his way back to his fiancé. The officer couldn't have cared less, however, and violently attacked Vineyard, according to Sansone. The officer reportedly shoved Vineyard to the pavement so hard that it killed him.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended for You

"The unidentified man insisted Mr. Vineyard step away and violently pushed Mr. Vineyard to the ground where he struck his head on the pavement," Sansone said.

According to Sansone, Vineyard's fiancé began chest compressions immediately while the first responders on the scene jumped in to help as well but he had no pulse. Vineyard was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Sansone says he has video of the officer shoving Vineyard as well as witness statements that corroborate his claims. "We want the name of the individual who caused this death and we intend to sue him and possibly others," said Sansone.

"This officer should be immediately suspended pending the outcome of this investigation if the facts are as I've been told. He should be arrested and charged with manslaughter at the very least," he added.

Although state police claim to be investigating the attack, the officer involved has yet to even be interviewed. Yeshua Bratcher, however, has been found, arrested, and charged with attempted homicide, aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person and a firearms violation.

Vineyard's stepdaughter has set up a GoFundMe account to help pay for funeral costs. You can contribute to it here.