San Jose Hells Angels boss killed in casino gunfight


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
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.

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