A member of the notorious Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, who has been missing since October, has been arrested on suspicion of killing a member of his own gang at their local chapter president's funeral.
Police pursued Steven Ruiz, 38, to Fremont, Calif. They found him at a Days Inn Motel in the city just south of San Francisco where he surrendered to authorities on Saturday. He was arrested for murder and booked in the Santa Clara county Main jail, reported Reuters.
According to police, Ruiz gunned down fellow gang member Steve Tausan, 52 on Oct. 15, 2011. They were at a funeral for their late chapter president, Jeffrey Jethro Pettigrew, who was killed during a September brawl with another gang, the Vagos, at a Nevada casino.
Tausan and others confronted Ruiz, claiming he had not adequately protected their president during the casino brawl. Ruiz then pulled out a gun and shot Tausan, reported Reuters.
The victim and suspect...reportedly became involved in a physical altercation, San Jose Police Department spokesman Jason Dwyer said in a statement, according to Reuters. During the fight, the suspect apparently drew a firearm and fatally shot the victim.
Ruiz reportedly fled the scene and was on the run. Police immediately began searching for him. Dwyer did not elaborate how police tracked down Ruiz, but he did say they surrounded the motel and asked the front desk clerk to call his room.
They used the phone at the front desk, called and asked him to surrender peacefully, and he did surrender, Rey Bayangos said, a worker at the motel where police apprehended Ruiz, reported MSNBC. It happened all of a sudden.
The Ruiz arrest marks another chapter in the bloody feud between the rival motorcycle gangs, the Hells Angels and the Vagos. Both gangs are listed as outlaw clubs, engaging in drug and weapons trafficking as well as other violent crimes.
Authorities said the rivalry is due to disputed territory in the northern coastal town of Santa Cruz, reported Reuters. The gang got into a bloody fight outside a Santa Cruz Starbucks in January 2010. In August of that same year, the group exchanged gunfire, leaving five people wounded in Chino Valley. The casino brawl that left Pettigrew dead, came 11 months later and sparked tensions within the Hells Angel's ranks, reported Reuters.