sfpd_squad.jpgA man suspected of killing the San Jose Hells Angels motorcycle club president in a Nevada casino last week was apprehended by a University of California at San Francisco police officer Thursday night.

Ernesto Gonzalez is wanted in connection with the murder of motorcycle club President Jeffrey Pettigrew, 51, who was fatally shot at John Ascuaga’s Nugget casino resort in Sparks, Nev., at about 11:25 p.m. on Sept. 23.

UCSF police Chief Pam Roskowski said that California law enforcement agencies, including her department, had been briefed about the homicide and were on the lookout for Gonzalez.

“Everyone has been on alert for this suspect and were aware of the homicide,” she said.
Sgt. John Gutierrez had been patrolling the area near the UCSF Mission Center building Thursday because of recent burglaries, she said, when he observed a suspicious vehicle at about 8:20 p.m.

Gutierrez questioned the driver–who allegedly had been acting nervously, drawing Gutierrez’s attention. When Gutierrez ran the man’s identification, he learned of the warrant out for his arrest.

Gonzalez was arrested near Treat and Alameda streets and booked at San Francisco County jail. The vehicle was impounded, Roskowski said.

According to information released by Sparks police earlier this week, the preliminary investigation indicated the casino shootout erupted between members of the Hells Angels gang and a rival motorcycle gang known as the Vagos Motorcycle Club.

Vagos member Leonard Ramirez, 45, was shot in the abdomen and a second Vagos member, Diego Garcia, 28, was shot in the leg, police said.

Hells Angels member Cesar Villagrana, 36, was allegedly seen on video surveillance shooting into a crowd during the confrontation and was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a stolen firearm, police said.

A call to a Sparks police spokeswoman seeking comment was not immediately returned.

Patricia Decker, Bay City News

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