Sparks State of Emergency Lifted

By: Staff
By: Staff

SPARKS - The state of emergency for the city of Sparks was lifted at 5:00 p.m. Sunday. There have been no additional incidents of violence or altercations between motorcycle clubs.

In a statement, Sparks Mayor Geno Martini said "We will not allow, nor will we tolerate violent behavior by any groups or individuals in the City of Sparks." The special event held in Sparks was intended for motorcycle enthusiasts and attracts thousands of people annually, including families with children. The safety and security of event attendees in Sparks is a priority. The individuals who engaged in the violence do not in any way reflect the majority of the event attendees. We appreciate the understanding of our residents and businesses throughout the last 24 hours. We want to thank our regional partners, the City of Reno and Washoe County for their support and resources during this time. We also send our appreciation to Governor Sandoval for his willingness to support our efforts."

The Sparks Police Department with assistance from the Washoe County Sheriff's Office and other regional resources staffed John Asquaga's Nugget, Victorian Square and several additional locations throughout Saturday night. The Sparks Police Department will continue to staff the Victorian Square area and the Nugget throughout Sunday to assist vendors and remaining Street Vibrations participants in safely leaving the City of Sparks venue.

The state of emergency was declared after two separate shootings in Sparks Friday night and Saturday morning.

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 11:30 pm, 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 were 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. No other arrests have been made.

Then, just before 11:00 a.m. Saturday morning, a motorcyclist driving down Victorian Square was shot in the stomach.

Police are still looking fo the shooter, who was driving a black 4-door 3 Series BMW with tinted windows. Police say there were two people in the car.

The victim in the drive-by, who police are not identifying, is in stable condition at the hospital.

While police are not linking the two shootings at this time, Street Vibrations in the city of Sparks was canceled for Saturday and Sunday for public safety reasons and Sparks Mayor Geno Martini declared a state of emergency.

Detectives are currently working through witness statements. If you were inside the Nugget or around the area of Trader Dick's Bar at the time of Friday night's shooting, or if you saw anything in Victorian Square Saturday morning, you are encouraged to call the Sparks Police Department Detective Division at 353-2225 or Secret Witness at 322-4900.


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