Society

Hells Angels Leader Killed in Nevada Casino Gunfight

| by Michael Allen

Jeffrey "Jethro" Pettigrew, 51, leader of the San Jose, California chapter of the Hells Angels (and a San Jose city employee), was killed during a shootout between the infamous gang and the Vagos motrocycle club at John Ascuaga's Nugget hotel-casino in Sparks, Nevada.

Sparks police said that they responded to a fight involving a large group armed with guns inside the casino. Police said as they rushed to the fight, shots were fired.

Two members of the Vagos motorcycle club were also wounded: Leonard Ramirez was shot in the stomach and Diego Garcia was hit in the leg. Both were reported to be in stable condition at a hospital in neraby Reno.

The bloodshed began at 11:26 p.m. Friday, during the annual five-day "Street Vibrations" biker festival in which thousands of bikers from across the country ride into Sparks and nearby cities to celebrate. The city has since closed the festival.

Popular Video

This judge looked an inmate square in the eyes and did something that left the entire courtroom in tears:

Popular Video

This judge looked an inmate square in the eyes and did something that left the entire courtroom in tears:

The casino was evacuated and locked down on Saturday, but has since reopened.

San Jose Police Sgt. Larry Day, who has investigated biker clubs, said: "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. 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."

Police said a second shooting occurred at 10:49 a.m. on Saturday. An unidentified biker was riding down a street near a square that served as the center of the festival when he was shot in the stomach by a gunman riding in a black BMW with tinted windows.