Authorities say a bouncer was fatally shot in the back outside Nye's Polonaise Room after ejecting a patron.
Police say the man — identified as Zachary Mason Ourada, returned to the bar early Friday and shot the bouncer.
As a bouncer at Nye's bar, Billy Walsh was the king of first impressions.
Walsh’s friend Laurie Javes knew him for 15 years and says, "He was always at this door, every weekend."
Nye’s Patron Seraphina Richardson said Walsh was always so positive, "He was amazing and he was nothing but love and hugs for everybody who came in."
Which is why it's so hard for her to understand how he could have been murdered for simply doing his job.
Javes says she'll remember Walsh as a hero, “If he wouldn't have done what he did, that kid probably would've opened fire in a bar and maybe killed more."
After the shooting, police say the suspect, Zachary Ourada, fled on foot toward the Mississippi River and witnesses say they followed him and watched him jump in to the frigid waters.
For the next hour rescue crews converged on the river and tried to fish him out of the waters.
Ourada was treated for hypothermia and taken to jail.
Javes says she’s sorry Ourada was rescued, "I'm sorry, I'm not a person who wishes bad things on people, but why did they save that kid? Just so we can pay his room and board for the rest of his life?"
There is some comfort, however, in the lasting impression Billy Walsh left behind as the guy at Nye's who made everyone feel welcome.
Richardson says he’ll always be remembered as the man who looked out for them, "He's an angel to all of us."
Billy Walsh leaves behind three teenage children. The family of the suspect says he has a history of mental problems and violent tendencies.
The Minneapolis Hospitality Association has established a fund for the needs of the family of William Walsh.
If you would like to contribute, you may send your donation to:
William Walsh III Fund
c/o Northeast Bank
77 Broadway St. NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413
By Amy Hockert , KARE 11 News
(Copyright 2005 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)