ARVADA, Colo. (CBS4) – Ryan McPhearson, the lead singer in the Colorado band Nightwolf, was critically hurt when a fatal fight broke out over the weekend between two motorcycle gangs at an Arvada restaurant. The violence broke out Saturday night on the same street as Jake’s Roadhouse on Lamar Street where McPhearson was performing.
“He’s one of the nicest, kindest caring guys. He has a heart as big as a mile,” said Nightwolf guitar player Jay Halpern. “I hope he lives, but I hope he comes out of this with the ability to do the things he loves to do.”
Investigators said the fight started on the 5800 block of Lamar Street between members of the Hells Angels and the Mongols. Soon afterwards dozens of shots flew across a stretch of four blocks of Lamar.
William Henderson, 43, of Arvada, died in the shooting and McPhearson was critically hurt. Arvada police said McPhearson was trying to stop the violence.
Nightwolf is described on their website as a band from Lakewood that plays classic rock and blues. They were supposed to be playing their first concert on Saturday night since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Band members said McPhearson had stepped outside of Jake’s for a break when the fight started nearby. He apparently tried to help someone who was getting beaten up and he himself got badly hurt. Band members said the person who McPhearson was trying to help was getting hit with a motorcycle helmet.
“Everybody was just… we couldn’t believe what was going on,” Halpern said. “Somebody says, ‘Hey somebody is lying in the street, it looks like they are dead!’ and somebody said, ‘It’s Ryan!'”
Arvada police so far hasn’t released many details about their investigation into the fight, but they said staff and ownership of the restaurant had nothing to do with it and so far it’s not clear exactly where the fight began. Two other people were also injured but their identities haven’t been released. Anyone with information that might be helpful to investigators is asked to contact them or call Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867.
In November Henderson was arrested with a dozen other alleged members of the Hells Angels. Online criminal records indicate he initially faced 18 felony charges in connection with a crime ring.