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· There can be only One
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Motorcycle Gangs Battle in Nevada Casino; 3 Dead
Sat Apr 27, 3:32 PM ET

LAUGHLIN (Reuters) - Members of rival motorcycle gangs clashed with guns and knives in a casino before dawn on Saturday, leaving three dead and 12 hospitalized amid a gathering of tens of thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts in a Nevada gambling town, authorities said.

Three people were shot fatally in violence that flared at about 2:15 a.m. (5:15 a.m. EDT) inside the Harrah's casino in Laughlin, near the Arizona border about 100 miles from the gambling mecca of Las Vegas, according to Sgt. Chris Darcy, a police spokesman. Authorities said earlier that four died.

Some of the wounded were transported by helicopter and ambulance to hospitals in Arizona and Las Vegas, where they were being treated for gunshots and stab wounds.

The shootout in the casino came during the 20th annual River Run, which attracts large numbers of motorcyclists. It is one of the nation's biggest motorcycle events. This year's River Run drew 50,000 to 70,000 motorcyclists, said Larry Tunforss, spokesman for the Bullhead City, Arizona, Fire Department.

Darcy said in a statement that one suspect had been taken into custody and "numerous others are being questioned as to their involvement." Darcy added that "approximately 60 to 70 participants in this event are believed to be members of rival motorcycle associations."

Hospital officials in Las Vegas and Bullhead City said they were treating 11 patients with wounds from the casino violence. One other person was hospitalized at Western Arizona Regional Medical Center in Bullhead City with chest pain.

Tunforss said the shooting appeared to be gang related, saying, "Every year for this River Run, there's always threats of gang activity. We have actually separated the shooters the best we can in the hospital because it is believed they are rival gangs."

Two of the wounded were identified as shooters, Tunforss said. They were hospitalized with critical wounds. One of the two alleged shooters suffered four gunshot wounds, he added.

Harrah's is the farthest south of a string of casinos in Laughlin that line the west bank of the Colorado River. Laughlin is a town of 8,000 that attracts 5 million visitors annually. Authorities from Bullhead City, located just across the river, were called in to assist Laughlin authorities.


At the casino, near the area where gamblers normally try their luck with slot machines, authorities held scores of people after the shooting.

"There were about 100 people in handcuffs or spread-eagled on the ground," Tunforss said. "We were taking victims out from that area."

Authorities said Laughlin was shut down for several hours to all vehicle traffic into and out of town, with local bridges across the Colorado River also closed for a while to traffic.

"The majority of these people come here to have a great time, come here to have a vacation," Tunforss said. "But, unfortunately, when you get 50,000 to 70,000 people in one area, you're going to have some of the criminal element show up."

Officials said the two hospitals had already been on high alert for possible violence during the River Run event.

"We'd heard rumors of rival gangs being in town," said Ruth Padilla, spokeswoman for Western Arizona Regional Medical Center. "There was a heightened awareness with more people in the city proper because of the 20th anniversary" of the event.

"We had extra teams, extra operating-room crews, extra emergency-room personnel on duty," Padilla said.

Padilla said the hospital in Bullhead was treating seven patients, all listed in fair condition. Five had been shot or stabbed, one had been beaten and one had chest pain, she said.

University Medical Center in Las Vegas, the nearest hospital to Laughlin with a trauma center, was treating five patients, all either shot or stabbed, a spokesman said. One was listed in critical condition, three in serious condition and one in fair condition.

None of those hospitalized in either facility was believed to have life-threatening injuries.

The annual River Run is Laughlin's biggest weekend of the year. Visitors come from across the United States, with most driving in from Southern California, Phoenix and Las Vegas.

The five-day River Run began on Wednesday, with events such as tattoo contests and concerts by rock groups, including the Doobie Brothers and Grand Funk Railroad. Manufacturers demonstrate their latest motorcycles and related products.


· `Ohhh shit`..famous last words
321 Posts
yuppppp....thats my state. Hells Angels and Vagos. mean bikers...can't they all get along...they can split the drug and hooker trades. :D


· Banned
865 Posts

the strange thing is, I live in the bay area and grew up right around Oakland. Oakland (and to a lesser extent frisco) was the place the hell's angels had their main glory days.

But the main hooligans I see are sportbike riders, most of the harley riders are just yuppies. I almost never see hardcores on harleys. But then again, the sportbikers aren't exactly killin people like these dudes are.
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