One killed, three injured in Arvada shooting

Police say violence occurred between rival motorcycle gangs


On July 11, Arvada police responded to a shooting related to a conflict between two motorcycle gangs. The shooting occurred near Jake's Roadhouse, a bar at 5980 N. Lamar St.

According to the police's Facebook page, 43-year-old William Henderson was shot and killed during the conflict. Three others were injured in the July 11 incident.

Henderson was among 13 individuals that were charged by the Denver District Attorney's office on suspicion of violating the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act (COCCA), last December.

Arvada Police Department released a statement saying “Jake's Roadhouse Not Involved, people from the Roadhouse actually tried to help a victim. That Good Samaritan is facing life threatening injuries.”

The Good Samaritan was Ryan McPherson, lead singer of the band Nightwolf, which was playing the bar Saturday night.

While McPherson and bandmate John Akal were outside for a break, the two began to hear what sounded like motorcycles, with two customers on the patio telling them they had heard gunshots not long before. 

Across the street, an injured man started to call for help. McPherson rushed to help the injured man and was not shot, but is believed to have been hit in the back of the head by another individual, Akal said.

"Ryan is a caring, big teddy bear kind of guy," Akal said. "He will jump in to help anybody, any time, anywhere."

McPherson was taken to the hospital where he is being treated for a brain injury. As of the morning of July 13, McPherson was in critical but stable condition, Akal said.

A fundraiser on the BikerDown Accident Fundraising site is collecting donations for McPherson and as of noon July 13, had raised more than $2,400.

On his Facebook page, Doug Jacobsen, the bar's owner, described what he knew about the incident.

“The shooting had nothing to do with Jake's Roadhouse or any of our customers. It was a large crime scene covering almost 10 blocks, with several guys on motorcycles shooting at each other,” he wrote. “We are praying for Ryan, a kind soul just trying to help.”

Arvada detective Dave Snelling said police continue to investigate the murder and assaults.

"We're working with a lot of the evidence from the scene," Snelling said. "It's one thing when there's an altercation and something goes wrong but when a Good Samaritan is stepping in and is assaulted, that's disgusting. We're going to do our best to find the individual and prosecute them, for William and especially for Ryan."

The police department has urged anyone with information to call Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP.


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