When sheriff’s deputies found Ryan Saffrhan on Saturday night, he was slumped over a seat in a 2001 Nissan Xterra in the 500 block of North Elm Street in Metairie with a gunshot wound to the chest.
The motive for killing Saffrhan, a 34-year-old restaurant worker, at first was unclear. But Col. John Fortunato, a spokesman for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, said Tuesday that witnesses had helped investigators identify two men who shot Saffrhan not long after they robbed him of marijuana.
The Sheriff’s Office has now obtained arrest warrants on first-degree murder counts for Darren Lloyd, 19, of New Orleans, and Ira Brown, 20, of Kenner. Fortunato said that investigators believe Saffrhan had been driving around the Elm Street area, trying to sell marijuana, when he was robbed.
Niesha Gloyd-Sorenson, a friend of Saffrhan’s who met him at a restaurant job years ago, said he struggled with health issues but always kept a positive attitude.
“He just really liked to hang out and have a lot of fun,” said Gloyd-Sorenson. “He’s been in and out of the hospital ... But you know when he wasn’t in there and he was out, he was rocking and rolling.”
In the wake of Saffrhan’s death, Gloyd-Sorenson and others are planning a second-line and block party in his honor next month at Mississippi River Bottom, the sports bar and restaurant where he worked in the French Quarter. Gloyd-Sorenson said she also hopes to raise money to cover funeral expenses for Saffrhan’s family.
The Sheriff’s Office asked anyone with information on Lloyd’s and Brown’s whereabouts to call Homicide Detective Melvin Francis at (504) 364-5300 or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.