The shooting happened at 12:51 p.m. at the Oak Hill Cemetery during a memorial service for Jeffrey “Jethro” Pettigrew, president of the San Jose chapter of the Hells Angels. Pettigrew was shot and killed Sept. 23 by a member of the rival Vagos motorcycle gang at John Ascuaga's Nugget casino in Sparks, Nev. hells angels funeral,
According to the Mercury, Saturday's violence was the result of a confrontation between fellow Hells Angels members. The shooting victim, identified unofficially as Steve “Mr. 187” Tausan, allegedly threw a punch at a fellow biker, who retaliated with gunfire. hells angels boss shootout, steve tausan nickname mr 187,
Police are interviewing witnesses but so far lack leads. According to police spokesman Officer Jose Garcia, the crime scene appeared to have been tampered with.
Tausan, 52, ran a bail-bond company in San Jose and was sergeant-at-arms for the Santa Cruz chapter of the Angels. In 1997 Tausan was charged with and acquitted of the beating death of a patron at the San Jose strip club The Pink Poodle, where Tausan worked as a bouncer.
According to the Mercury, Pettigrew's funeral drew thousands of bikers from motorcycle clubs all across the West coast. Police presence, even prior to the shooting, was heavy, with uniformed officers ringing the perimeter and others attending the service in plainclothes. Nevertheless, in the opinion of one witness, gang funerals are normally violence-free.
“I’ve known Hells Angels and all the other groups for years and years and years, and there is a code of ethics,” attendee Valerie Simpson said in remarks recorded by the Associated Press. “You never do anything at a funeral. I mean that is just completely abominable.”