Monday, September 26, 2011

Reno & Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Violence

Gunfire errupted between members of the Hells Angels and Vagos motorcycle clubs at the Nugget Casino in Sparks, Nevada late Friday night, Sept. 23rd during the closing weekend of the 2011 Reno Street Vibrations Festival, just one month after members of the Hells Angels and Mongols rumbled in downtown Sturgis, SD during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
Officials said that Jeffrey "Jethro" Pettigrew, the 51 year old president of the Hells Angels chapter in San Jose, CA was called to the scene and died in a gun battle between the rival clubs at the casino in Nevada. He was also employed as a heavy equipment operator by the city of San Jose for more than 20 years.    

Wednesday, Sept. 28th, A first-degree murder warrant was issued against Ernesto Manuel Gonzaleza, a member of the Vagos motorcycle club, who police say is responsible for the shooting death of Pettigrew. Gonzalez is being sought on a charge of first-degree murder with a deadly weapon. The warrant carries no bail. Authorities say Gonzalez, 53, of the San Jose area, shot Pettigrew four times in the back at John Ascuaga’s Nugget. 

Saturday, Oct. 15th, Another member of the Hells Angels was gunned down in broad daylight at the funeral for Jeffrey "Jethro" Pettigrew, president of the Hells Angels chapter in San Jose, California. Steve Tausan, 52, a bail bondsman and a sergeant-at-arms for the Hell's Angels was reportedly shot in front of dozens of law enforcement officers and thousands of mourners at Oak Hill Memorial Park. He died a short while later at a nearby hospital. An area state of emergency has been declared.

The Mercury News reports that two members of the Vagos club were injured in the casino shootout, but they are now in stable condition at a nearby hospital. "In the outlaw motorcycle gang culture, Jeff Pettigrew was a local icon in San Jose, a very well-respected member within the ranks of the Hells Angels," said San Jose police Sgt. Larry Day. "This incident could definitely result in retaliation against the Vagos, and a full-blown war that may result in deadly violence in San Jose and throughout California."
There was also the report of a drive-by shooting that sent a member of the Vagos club to the hospital with gunshot wounds to the stomach early Saturday morning, prompting law enforcement to shut down the event in an effort to prevent further violence. 

Violence also errupted in downtown Sturgis, SD during the 
 2011 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

The witness who recorded this video from the balcany of One Eyed Jack's on Wed. August 10, 2011 said he was talking on his cell phone watching the Hells Angels Sturgis headquarters across the street when all hell broke loose! 

"I heard popping noises and looked down. Probably 20 Hells Angels and Mongols were going at it, fighting, etc. Within a minute, the Sturgis Police were at the scene, guns drawn and taking control. Notice the women in the clubhouse coming out with their hands over their heads. We had noticed the Mongols eating outside at the restaurant while walking in. Wonder if it was a turf deal since the restaurant is directly adjacent to the Hells Angels clubhouse?"

There were numerous arrests and six people were injured.