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Biker faces murder charge in casino gunfight

33-year-old Hells Angel detained

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Motorcyclists drive by a worker cleaning up in Laughlin on Sunday after a clash between gangs left three people dead.  


LAUGHLIN, Nevada (CNN) -- A member of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang will be charged with murder following the weekend gunfight in a Nevada casino that left three men dead and 15 wounded, police said Sunday.

Kelvin Schaffer, 33, was among more than 200 people detained after the incident early Saturday, but the only one still in police custody a day later, said Lt. Vincent Cannito of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. The department provides law enforcement in Clark County, where the shooting took place.

Schaffer was among 50,000 to 80,000 motorcycle enthusiasts who descended on Laughlin, a town of 8,000 located 80 miles southeast of Las Vegas, for the 20th annual "River Run."

Investigators are poring over videotapes from surveillance cameras in the Harrah's casino, trying to determined what provoked the gunfight and whether anyone else may have been responsible.

About 200 law enforcement officers, plus the regular police force in Laughlin, had been on duty for the event. Authorities arrived at the scene less than two minutes after shots were first fired.

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CNN's Thelma Gutierrez reports that one man so far has been charged with murder after three people were killed and 20 more injured during a gunfight between motorcycle gang members (April 29)

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Watch police detain alleged suspects after a casino shoot-out that left three people dead (April 27)

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Police in California were investigating the death of another biker, who was shot to death alongside Interstate 40 near the town of Ludlow, about 90 miles west of Laughlin. The victim was believed to be a 29-year-old motorcycle club member from San Diego, California.

The motorcyclist appeared to have been shot while riding westbound, away from Nevada, said Chris Patterson, a spokesman for the San Bernardino Sheriff's Department. Cannito said Sunday that Nevada law enforcement was "still working with the California authorities to determine if there was a correlation" between the incident and the Laughlin gunfight.

Five of the 15 people wounded in the gunfight remained at the University Medical Center in Las Vegas on Sunday, a hospital spokesman said. One was in critical condition, three were in serious condition and one victim was in fair condition, all with gunshot or stab wounds.

Four others -- three with gunshot wounds and one complaining of chest pains -- were at Western Arizona Regional Medical Center in nearby Bullhead City. Six, including a man with a skull injury and a stabbing victim, have been treated and released, a hospital spokeswoman said.

The incident happened just after 2 a.m. Saturday, when a member of the Mongols motorcycle gang wandered into a group of rival Hells Angels, Cannito said. A fight broke out that escalated into gunfire.

Afterward, Nevada officials sealed off Laughlin while they searched for anyone connected with the brawl, said Larry Tunforss, a fire department spokesman from nearby Bullhead City, Arizona. The restrictions were lifted a few hours later.

The 1,700-room casino hotel was fully booked for the River Run event, said Laura de la Cruz, director of marketing for the hotel.

The event usually goes off "without a hitch," Cannito said, but outlaw gang members provoked violence this year.

"It's the 1 percent fringe society members that don't want to be part of society," he said.

-- CNN Correspondent Thelma Gutierrez contributed to this report.



 
 
 
 







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