ARVADA, Colo. (CBS4) - It was Saturday night and Nightwolf had just finished up their first set at Jake's Roadhouse since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lead singer Ryan McPhearson and drummer John Akal went outside to smoke a cigarette while lead guitarist Jay Halpern hung out inside.
"We heard something that sounded like fireworks," Halpern said.
Soon they learned it wasn't fireworks. Arvada police say one person died and three others were hurt in a late night shooting on Saturday. Officers responded to the area near 60th Avenue and Lamar Street.
Investigators say a fight started between the Hells Angels and Mongols in the parking lot of a business. They add dozens of shots were fired across four blocks on Lamar Street.
"Everybody was just... we couldn't believe what was going on," said Helpern.
The bar was locked down. Bandmates say, and police confirm, Ryan was outside trying to stop the violence. That's when tragedy struck.
"Somebody says, 'Hey somebody is lying in the street, it looks like they are dead!' and somebody said, 'It's Ryan!'" explained Jay.
Bandmates say Ryan just wanted to stop the fight. He saw a man he didn't know being beaten with a motorcycle helmet and stepped in to help. Ryan then suffered an injury to his head.
Ryan was taken to a hospital where he is in critical condition. Police say 43-year-old William Henderson was killed down the street and two more people have non-life threatening injuries. One was transported to the hospital from the scene and another walked into a Boulder County hospital after the shooting.
Now police want to find who did this, and Ryan's friends are praying for the gentle giant with the incredible voice.
"He's one of the nicest kindest caring guys. He has a heart as big as a mile," said Halpern. "I hope he lives, but I hope he comes out of this with the ability to do the things he loves to do."
Police say Jake's Roadhouse was not in any way involved in this incident. The suspects were not in the bar. Not surprisingly, the police aren't getting much help from the people involved so they are asking that if you know who shot Ryan McPherson or anything about the shootout that happened, call Crime Stoppers 720-913-7867.
CBS4 has learned the man who was killed at the scene, Henderson, was arrested with a dozen other alleged members of the Hells Angels in November of 2019. Online criminal records indicate he initially faced 18 felony charges, including in the case filed by the Denver District Attorney's Office.
Other online public records show that Henderson lived in the 6900 block of Lamar Street in Arvada, blocks away from the scene of Saturday night's shooting.
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