Before a gunman opened fire outside the Shredder on Saturday night, Darin Wall — bassist for the Seattle-based metal band Greyhawk — said he was impressed with the camaraderie among the Boise music venue’s regulars.
“I’ve never played there before, but it really felt like a family,” Wall said in a Monday phone interview. “That night, the vibe in the room was super cheerful.”
Later that night, though, the mood became much more panicked after a man, later identified by Boise police as Ethan Byrd, 26, pulled up to the venue after the show ended and allegedly began acting belligerent toward concert-goers and band members, according to police.
Wall said he first noticed the man outside the venue after he started making a “finger gun” motion and pretended to shoot the nearly two dozen people outside the venue. Eventually, the suspect got into a physical altercation with an attendee before allegedly grabbing a handgun concealed in his pants.
Boise police were already searching for Byrd after they received calls of a man brandishing a firearm in the area, according to a department news release on Sunday.
Wall said that once he saw the gun, he started kicking and pushing Byrd to get him away from the patio where people had gathered. Byrd then pointed the gun and allegedly shot Wall once in the leg before running away. Wall’s bandmate took him aside and made a tourniquet around his leg to stop the bleeding.
Doctors later told Wall if the bullet had hit an inch to the left, it would have hit his artery and he could’ve bled to death.
“I just did what I thought was right. I wanted to make sure that nobody got killed,” Wall said.
Some people say Wall saved lives that night.
“He basically prevented (the alleged gunman) from coming on the premises,” said Justin Cantrell, who operates the Shredder.
Police arrested Byrd within minutes of the shooting, after noticing he matched the description of the suspect. Police said in a news release that “Byrd appeared to be intoxicated, ignored commands, and fled from officers” before he was taken into custody.
He’s been charged with aggravated battery, use of a deadly weapon and carrying a concealed weapon while intoxicated, a police news release stated.
Cantrell said nothing like this had happened at the Shredder, which is located on South 10th Street and caters mostly to heavy metal bands.
During his recovery, Wall has been unable to walk and even adjusting positions comes with tremendous pain. He has, though, received an outpouring of support since the shooting, including messages from many in the Boise metal scene.
“The outpouring of support that’s happened from people in that local scene that didn’t even know me before last night has been pretty incredible and overwhelming,” he said.
Wall added he’s hoping to recover before Greyhawk starts a slate of shows later this month. The band said in a Sunday Facebook post they’re hoping to play in Boise again. A GoFundMe has been set up to help pay for Wall’s medical expenses from the incident.
Reached for comment on Monday, a Boise Police Department spokesperson referred the Statesman to the news release of the shooting, in which officers described the victim confronting Byrd before shots were fired.
The incident took place just hours before a seemingly unrelated fatal shooting in Downtown Boise early Sunday morning. Police arrested 20-year-old Timmothy Morgan for allegedly perpetrating the crime.
Idaho Statesman reporter Nicole Blanchard contributed reporting to this story.