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7 wounded in Las Vegas biker gangs freeway shooting, police say

motorcycle gangs
Henderson Police Department
66-year-old Richard Devries, 46-year-old Stephen Alo, and 26-year-old Russell Smith

Rival motorcycle gangs were involved in a metro Las Vegas freeway shooting over the weekend that injured seven people and authorities arrested three suspects, police said Monday.

Sunday’s shooting on the freeway involved people associated with the Hells Angels and the Vagos gangs, police in the Las Vegas suburb of Henderson said in a statement.

Officers found “multiple subjects who had sustained gunshot wounds” and six people were taken to a hospital, the statement said. A seventh injured person arrived at a hospital was confirmed to be involved in the shooting, the statement said.

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It was not clear whether all the injured people suffered gunshot wounds.

Three men were arrested on suspicion on charges of attempted murder with a deadly weapon and other crimes, police said.

A fourth suspect remains at large, a source close to the incident reports.

Police identified the suspects as Richard Devries, 66; Stephen Alo, 46, and Russell Smith, 26. Court records did not indicate whether they had lawyers who could speak on their behalf.

Devries is the president of the local chapter, according to a source who requested anonymity. Alo is a Hells Angels member, the source said. Smith is a “prospect,” a nonmember seeking full-patch membership.

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“As this is an open investigation, no further details will be released at this time,” the statement said.

The incident occurred at approximately 11:50 a.m., following a peaceful gathering of hundreds of motorcycle enthusiasts to honor the fallen on Memorial Day weekend with a flag-waving ride across Hoover Dam and a solemn ceremony at the veterans’ cemetery.

Vagos and Hells Angels both wore their colors designating their club affiliation. One witness reported the Hells Angels did not remove their helmets with full face covering.

The Hells Angels left the gathering early, at one point revving their motors so loudly it set off car alarms in the parking lot.

The Hells Angels have a long history of violence in Nevada, most notoriously their participation in the deadly melee with the Mongols Motorcycle Club inside Harrah’s Laughlin on April 27, 2002 at the Laughlin River Run. Three gang members were killed and dozens injured in the brawl, which later sent 13 members of the Hells Angels and Mongols to prison.

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In September 2011 in Sparks, San Jose Hells Angels chapter president Jeffrey “Jethro” Pettigrew was shot and killed inside John Ascuaga’s Nugget hotel-casino in a confrontation with Vagos MC members. Two Vagos were injured in the exchange.

Nevada Vagos members and associates were among the 23 indicted on federal criminal charges that included racketeering and murder in June 2017 in a crackdown on the motorcycle club’s alleged criminal network, which included Las Vegas and Reno as well as Southern California and Hawaii.

KNPR contributor John L. Smith contributed to this report.