South Bay News

SJ Hells Angels president killed in casino shooting

Monday, September 26, 2011

Police throughout California and Nevada are bracing for what could be an all-out war between rival motorcycle gangs. It could come in retaliation for this weekend's murder of the president of the San Jose chapter of the Hells Angels.

ABC7 is not revealing the location of the Hells Angels clubhouse in San Jose, but the flag in the backyard is flying at half staff and in front there is a candle and bucket of roses representing the club's colors, red and white.

The memorial is for the San Jose chapter president of the Hells Angels who was killed Friday night during a confrontation in Sparks, Nevada. Jeffrey "Jethro" Pettigrew was shot inside the John Ascuaga's Nugget Casino during a clash with the Vagos motorcycle club.

Friends and supporters in San Jose are both angry and grieving.

"Jethro was a down to earth human being, he was not out to hurt nobody and what happened to him wasn't right at all," Hells Angels supporter Frank Pollesel said.

Sparks police say local, state and federal investigators are working to head off any retaliation and the city has canceled the remainder of the Street Vibrations biker festival.

"It was an easy decision to make to discontinue the Sparks venue for nothing else than the safety of the public," Roadshows, Inc. spokesperson Randy Burke said.

There was a San Jose patrol car cruising by the local Hells Angels clubhouse Monday afternoon. Sgt. Larry Day told ABC7 media partner the San Jose Mercury News, "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."

Pollesel, who says he usually attends the Sparks biker festival, told ABC7 what members of the Hells Angels are thinking in the wake of Pettigrew's death.

"Yes, it was murder, straight up murder and I hope they catch whoever did it and they get the same thing that's the way it should be done, an eye for an eye," Pollesel said.

In addition to being the president of the San Jose Hells Angels chapter, Pettigrew was a 20-year employee of the city's Department of Transportation. The department released a statement calling Pettigrew, not only a dedicated worker, but also a respected team member who was well liked by co-workers.

Police say they have video from inside the casino which they say shows about 60 Vagos members and about a dozen Hells Angels. They are reviewing the footage to try to identify and find the people responsible for the shooting.

(Copyright ©2014 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

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san jose, shooting, south bay news, karina rusk
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