Witnesses describe moments leading to fatal shooting outside Anchorage nightclub

Kyle Hopkins

Update, 10:15 a.m. Tuesday:

Anchorage Police issued this request for help:

Anchorage Police Department Homicide detectives are again requesting the assistance of the public in locating witnesses to the fatal shooting which took place on 10-28-12 in the street in front of 901 West 6th Avenue. Detectives believe that the occupants of 2 vehicles which were in the immediate area when the shooting took place need to be contacted.  The vehicles are a White Jeep Cherokee and a Red Dodge 4 door ½ ton pickup.  Anyone with information about these vehicles or their occupants should contact APD immediately at 786-8900.

The search for privately recorded video has been fruitful, however, detectives are still requesting that anyone who took video or photos outside of Platinum Jaxx about the time of this shooting, contact APD at 786-8900.  Any photos or video of individuals in the crowd or on the street would be helpful even if they do not show the actual shooting.

Earlier story:

A crowd watched the shooting that killed 27-year-old Said Beshirov early Sunday morning outside a Platinum Jaxx Halloween party, police said and witnesses said on Monday.

Detectives continued searching for video of the killing, recorded on smartphones by costumed party-goers. Friends of the Russian kickboxer, meanwhile, described a chain of events they said led up to the shooting. Beshirov was squaring off to fight the man who shot him, they said.

Police had made no arrests as of Monday night. Friends of Beshirov, including a man who fought beside him outside the bar that night, said in an interview with the Daily News on Monday that they did not know the shooter and had enjoyed an uneventful night at the club before a closing-time tussle began on the street.

The fighting began when a group of three or four men struck a woman outside the club, said Stanislav Teodorovich, a 24-year-old Russian student who said he was with Beshirov at the bar.

Beshirov, Daniil Bogdanov and Alexey Karpov confronted the men, they said. Bogdanov and Karpov were injured, they said. One of the men shot Beshirov twice, aiming at his head or neck, they said.

Beshirov moved to the United States from Krasnodar, a city of more than 700,000 people in western Russia, several years ago, friends said.

At one time he worked as a fisherman and held a resident crew member's license in Alaska in 2009, public records show. A police spokesman said he didn't know the status of Beshirov's citizenship in the United States.

"He came here as a permanent resident," said George Chetroi, a longtime friend. "I don't know exactly which program but he had a green card from the beginning."

Young Russian transplants tend to know one another in Anchorage -- forming a friendly network that sometimes shares drinks and stories when they spot one another at local clubs. Chetroi said he met Beshirov years ago at a local soccer match and the pair became friends.

Chetroi was at Platinum Jaxx Saturday night dressed as an M&M candy when he ran into Beshirov. The pair posed for an iPhone photo -- likely the last picture of Beshirov alive, Chetroi said.

"He looked kind of sad. Me and my wife said, 'C'mon, what's wrong with you, smile!' " Chetroi said.

The bar has last call for drinks at 2:30 a.m. and clears out patrons by 3 a.m., a co-owner said Sunday.

Beshirov was already outside the club when his friends Bogdanov and Karpov exited, Bogdanov said.

Bogdanov saw a man in a small group hit a girl, he said. A friend of both men, 24-year-old Stanislav Teodorovich, was also at the club that night and acted as a translator in an interview Monday.

Jess Hepper, one of the club's owners, said surveillance video shows two young women being confronted by three men outside the bar. One man was wearing a cowboy costume. Another was wearing a Richard Nixon mask, he said.

The man in the Nixon mask could be seen delivering a "chest bump" to one of the women, knocking her down, Hepper said. Bogdanov said the woman was punched.

Beshirov and his friends didn't know the women who were being hassled outside the club but confronted the men anyway, the friends said.

"Every man should do that," Chetroi said.

A fight began, Bogdanov said. Someone punched Bogdanov in the head, he said. Karpov was seriously injured, Teodorovich said.

Anchorage police declined to talk about the details of the shooting or what they believe took place outside the bar in the moments before the killing, citing the ongoing investigation. They continue to ask anyone who witnessed the incident or made video of it to contact them at 786-8900.

Beshirov's friends say they were not carrying guns and expected nothing more than a fistfight when they confronted the men outside the nightclub.

Beshirov was a kickboxer and mixed martial artist in Russia, his friends said, and boxed at a Thursday Night at the Fights main event in Anchorage in 2008.

Beshirov squared off with a man in black pants and a black coat or shirt or black shirt on top of a white shirt, Teodorovich said, translating for Bogdanov . It was unclear if this is the man the club owner said appeared to be dressed as a cowboy.

The man pulled out a gun, pointed it at Beshirov's head or neck and fired two shots, Bogdanov said. The shooter ran behind a car, he said.

Jeff Landfield, 27, was leaving the club and heading home when he heard the shots behind him.

Landfield works for an information technology consulting business and recently lost an attempt to unseat Sen. Lesil McGuire in the August Republican primary. He speaks Russian, he said, and was friends with Beshirov and others at the Halloween party.

Landfield returned the bar and saw a crowd of people surrounding Beshirov's body. He began performing chest compressions, trying to save his friend, he said.

He appeared to have a wound on his neck, Landfield said. Bogdanov said he applied pressure, trying to stop the bleeding.

"It was surreal," Landfield said. "Everybody was wearing costumes. I was covered in f---ing blood."

Police and paramedics arrived and continued the rescue effort, Landfield said. Beshirov was pronounced dead later that morning at a local hospital, according to police.

Beshirov was married but had no children, friends said. It was Teodorovich who broke the news of the shooting to his family, he said.

Beshirov's friends told their story Monday at an informal gathering at a downtown coffee shop, blocks from the shooting. Simply pulling the gun would have ended the fight, they said. There was no reason to pull the trigger, they said.

"He (fought) like a rat," Chetroi said of the shooter.