SPARKS, Nev. — The city of Sparks, Nev., on Saturday declared a state of emergency and canceled a weekend biker event after two shooting incidents stirred fears that rival biker gangs would clash in the streets.
Police were investigating a shooting at a casino during the event that left one person dead and two others injured.
Multiple shots were fired at the John Ascuaga's Nugget casino shortly before 11:30pm local time Friday.
At a press conference Saturday night, Sparks deputy police chief Brian Allen said the man killed was Jeffrey "Jethro" Pettigrew, president of the San Jose chapter of the Hells Angels, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal.
Police said the two injured were members of the Vagos Motorcycle Club, a "one percenter" criminal biker gang.
One Hell's Angel, Cesar Villagrana, was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon after allegedly being seen "shooting into the crowd," but it was unknown if he actually hit anyone, Allen said.
After the late-night incident, a drive-by shooting occurred about 10:30am Saturday, leaving one wounded.
Sparks Mayor Geno Martini told the Gazette-Journal the second shooting was "definitely a retaliation," for Friday night's incident.
"We're canceling it in Sparks," Martini said of the annual Street Vibrations events that was due to continue over the weekend in the city, just east of Reno.
"After the retaliation it's just too tense of a situation. It's hard to say what's going to happen. It's just not worth the chance. The safety and security of the public is our number one priority."
A statement from the mayor's office said Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval was expected to also declare a state of emergency for the city, which would allow the city to receive resources quickly from the state if required.
San Jose police told the San Jose Mercury News that the death of Pettigrew could lead to further bloodshed in California between the Hells Angels and Vagos motorcycle clubs.
"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."