A 24-year-old man has died of head injuries after apparently attempting to intervene to stop a street attack near a pub.
The victim is understood to have tried to step in during disorder close to The Clifton pub in Sedgley, near Dudley, shortly before midnight on Saturday.
West Midlands Police, which has launched a murder inquiry, said the victim was pronounced dead at the scene despite the efforts of emergency crews.
A spokesman for the Wetherspoon pub chain said door staff at The Clifton had gone to the aid of a man, putting him in the recovery position, after allowing another victim into the pub for his own safety.
The victim's family have been informed and are being supported by specialist officers.
A forensic search is being carried out close to the pub and officers are reviewing CCTV from the area.
Detective Inspector Laura Harrison said officers have spoken with a number of witnesses but are urging anyone who may have information to get in contact.
The senior officer said: "Our thoughts are with the family of this young man who has sadly lost his life.
"We are in the early stages of our investigations but we understand he may have tried to intervene in a fight when he was fatally injured.
"I believe the community of Sedgley will respond as we appeal for anyone we have not yet spoken with and who may information about what happened last night to get in touch with us."
Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said staff at the pub had tried to help an injured man after an assault near a taxi rank.
Mr Gershon said: "The pub's CCTV shows a group of males by the taxi rank at the side of the pub attacking another male.
"The individual managed to get away and ran to the front of the pub where he was let in for his own safety.
"The group then started attacking another male. Once the group dispersed, door staff at the pub went to assist him on the floor putting him in the recovery position."
Mr Gershon added: "No members of the group or the two men who were attacked had been in the pub."
Temporary Superintendent Jason Anderson, of the Dudley neighbourhood team, said: "Neighbourhood officers from Dudley will be patrolling the area over the coming days to provide reassurance and visibility to our communities who will have been affected by this incident."