Victims From Sparks Fatal Shooting ID'd, State of Emergency Declared

Cesar Villagrana
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SPARKS, NV - A Hell's Angels leader is confirmed dead in a shooting at John Ascuaga's Nugget in Sparks late Friday night, with two more hurt.

Jeffrey Pettigrew, 45, the president of the San Jose chapter of Hell's Angels, was killed, and two more injured when people opened fire Friday night at the Nugget casino.

The injured men are Vagos members, Leonard Ramirez and Diego Garcia of California. Police say their injuries are non-life-threatening.

Police say just before 11:30pm, there was a fight involving many people, with shots fired near Trader Dick's bar. Members of the Hell's Angels and Vagos motorcycle clubs were involved, with one Hell's Angels member being the man who was killed.

No employees or guests of the Nugget are hurt.

One Hell's Angels member, Cesar Villagrana of California, has been arrested for assault with a deadly weapon, accused of shooting into the crowd, but police don't believe he fired the shot that killed Pettigrew. Witnesses are still being questioned and the investigation continues.

The casino and most restaurants at the Nugget are open for business; but the area around Trader Dick's is closed and roped off during the investigation. Police and security officers are on duty there. There is also increased police presence in Reno and Sparks through the weekend.

Sparks police are still looking for anyone who saw what happened and may even have taken pictures of video. Please call them or Secret Witness at 322-4900.

The city's emergency response is also because of a second shooting on Victorian Avenue, just west of McCarran Boulevard. That happened about 11AM, and police are investigating any possible links between that shooting and the one at the Nugget. One person was shot and is expected to live. He is a motorcyclist who was shot in the stomach by someone driving by. That person is still being sought. Witnesses say a black 4-door 3 Series BMW with tinted windows sped away right after the shooting.

Renown Regional Medical Center also updated a statement Saturday after putting part of the hospital on lockdown in the wake of the shootings:

Renown Regional Medical Center is now easing precautionary security measures for various entrances/exits at the hospital. Limited access will still apply for specific areas. Patient and visitor safety remains our top priority. We apologize again for the temporary inconvenience.

UPDATE: Street Vibrations has been cancelled for the rest of the weekend in Sparks, and the city of Sparks has declared a state of emergency, in light of two shootings in less than 24 hours, at least one of them involving rival motorcycle groups. The state of emergency allows the city to, if necessary, use private property for city use, declare a curfew and use state resources. Here is the statement from the city:

In light of a shooting involving rival members of motorcycle clubs at a Spark Casino Friday night, and a subsequent drive-by shooting on Victorian Avenue in Sparks this morning, a state-of-emergency has been declared by the City. It is expected the Governor will also declare a state-of-emergency on behalf of the City of Sparks. Pursuant to the police powers vested in the City of Sparks, the Street Vibrations motorcycle event in Sparks will be cancelled for the remainder of the weekend.

“The safety and security of the public is our number one priority,” said Sparks Mayor Geno Martini.

KOLO 8 News Now spoke with Reno police, who say there are no plans so far to halt the event in Reno, but there is an increased police presence.