ARVADA, Colo. (KDVR) — Ten suspects were arrested in four states on Jan. 26 for a deadly 2020 shooting involving rivaling motorcycle clubs, Arvada police said.
Several local and federal law enforcement agencies from Florida to California worked with the Arvada Police Department on thousands of hours of investigation into the case that killed 43-year-old William Henderson.
“These violent defendants have been removed from the street because of the perseverance of dedicated law enforcement men and women from Arvada PD and multiple other agencies. We will not stand for violence and this case illustrates the time and effort we will put in to remove these destructive individuals from our communities,” Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Denver office Special Agent in Charge David S. Booth said.
The incident started at 5980 Lamar St. after 10 p.m. on July 11, 2020. The investigation uncovered that there was an altercation between the Mongols and the Hells Angels motorcycle clubs just outside Jake’s Roadhouse Bar. Two Hells Angels members were shot multiple times and a good Samaritan was severely injured trying to help one of the gunshot victims.
Witnesses claim they heard 10 to 15 shots fired. Ryan McPherson got caught in the mix when he rushed to help a man shot in the street.
McPherson is the lead singer in the classic rock band, Nightwolf. The band had just finished their second set at a nearby bar and went outside to get some air, when they spotted a man lying in the street. Bandmate, John Akal said Ryan rushed to help.
“He’s a big teddy bear of a guy. This is absolutely in his character to go to help someone,” Akal said.
Police said Ryan was severely beaten with a helmet and run over with a motorcycle when he was tending to the person with the gunshot wounds. McPherson suffered a traumatic brain injury and a compound fracture in his leg leaving him with life-changing injuries.
“I talked to Ryan earlier this week, and he was just excited. He was happy to know there was some solution to his case and even though we are not going to be able to restore Ryan back to his physical and mental health, that he once had, at least there’s a little bit of closure there for him,” APD Detective Dave Snelling said.
What the investigation entailed
Along with the ATF, the Regional Anti-Violence Enforcement Network, Thornton Police Department, and several other agencies were involved in the investigation.
“It involved two rival motorcycle gangs, not groups easy to get information from or even have cooperative witnesses or even victims. Makes it very, very difficult to solve a case, but our detectives, with the help of agencies like ATF and others, this 19 months really produced some results in getting some dangerous dangerous people off the streets,” Snelling said.
The 10 suspects are facing a total of 33 criminal counts including first-degree murder, criminal attempted first-degree murder, and first-degree assault.
“I would say it wasn’t just one component, it was just gathering a lead, following that one, gathering a lead, following that one, just the sheer doggedness of a couple of seasoned investigators. The lead investigator on this case is a 25-year veteran and incredibly good at his job. Thousands of hours these guys put into this work, thousands of cases of documents, affidavits, search warrants, all executed. They were arrested from several different states without incident. Not one person got hurt, swat teams were involved, tactical plans, and not one person, not one suspect, not one officer, not one citizen were hurt in the apprehension,” Snelling said.