By day, Jeffrey “Jethro” Pettigrew operated heavy equipment for the City of San Jose. On his own time, Pettigrew was the leader of the San Jose Hells Angels, a man police called a “local icon” in the motorcycle gang culture.
Friday night, the 51-year-old Pettigrew was killed in a gun battle with a rival gang on the casino floor of John Ascuaga’s Nugget in Sparks, Nev. Pettigrew and other bikers had gathered in the Reno area for “Street Vibrations,” a five-day biker festival.
The Merc reports that the Vagos Motorcycle Club, a rival gang, was behind the shootings. Two Vagos members were injured in the shootout and are in the hospital, while a Hells Angels member who police say was videotaped shooting into the crowd is in a Reno jail.
San Jose police are now concerned about repercussions spreading back to the Bay Area:
“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.”
Jesse Garnier is the editor and founder of SFBay. A Mission District native, he also teaches journalism as associate professor at San Francisco State University.