DENVER (CBS4)– Two brothers have been formally charged in connection with the shooting death of a man in a Denny’s parking lot while friends of the victim are planning a benefit in his honor.

Robert Bernal, 25, and Paul Bernal, 18, have been charged with first degree murder in the shooting death of Chris Haney, 36.

Police in Denver believe the Bernal brothers were involved in the altercation in the parking lot of a restaurant in the 900 block of W. Alameda Ave. about 3 a.m. Saturday.

Denny's (credit: CBS)

Denny’s (credit: CBS)

Witnesses said Haney got in the middle of the fight. Friends said it was his instinct to calm people down from a fight. He worked as a bartender at The Gothic Theatre.

“I believe that’s exactly what happened here. I think he encountered a couple of people having a fight, he tried to calm them down and things did not go well,” said Gothic Theatre General Manager Kent Shelton.

Chris Haney (credit: CBS)

Chris Haney (credit: CBS)

Police records show that Paul Bernal pulled out a hand gun and gave it to his older brother, Robert who shot Haney once in the chest.

Haney died a short time later after. He did not know the men involved in the fight.

The brothers were arrested about an hour after the shooting and remain in custody in the Denver Detention Center without bond.

They are scheduled to appear in Denver District Court on May 7 at 8:30 a.m. to be advised of the charges.

There is a benefit planned for Haney’s family at 8 p.m. Friday at the Gothic Theatre on S. Broadway in Englewood. Concert promoters from around the Denver metro area are trying to raise money for his family.

Haney left behind a 5-year-old daughter.


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