Cops Closing In on Hells Angels Funeral Shooter After Digging Up Grave Site
Police threw out the net around a Stockton, Calif., home this weekend after receiving a tip that the shooter suspected of gunning down of a Hells Angel member at a funeral was hiding out there.
Ruiz, also a member of the Hells Angels, is wanted for allegedly shooting and killing Steve Tausan, 52, at a San Jose cemetery where thousands of bikers had gathered for the burial of another Hells Angels member, Jeffrey “Jethro” Pettigrew who was murdered last month in a gunfight at a Nevada casino.
Tausan had said to the San Jose Mercury News that he had received death threats following his friend’s Sept. 23 murder.
At the time of his death, Tausan was serving as the sergeant-at-arms of the Santa Cruz, Calif., Hells Angels chapter and in sprite of a huge police presence at the memorial, the crime scene was quickly cleaned before authorities gather evidence in the shooting case.
Dwyer said Ruiz is believed to be on the road with his girlfriend, Christel Trujillo, 42, and added that tips as to the whereabouts of the couple are coming in to his department on an ongoing basis.
“We’ll follow every single lead until we find him,” Dwyer said of Ruiz. “We have investigators working around the clock.”
Earlier in the week, authorities dug up the grave of a Hells Angels member to look for the body of a Northern California man suspected of killing another gang member during a shootout at a weekend funeral.
A police spokesman said Tuesday that they suspected they would find the body of Ruiz. Ruiz and Tausan had both disappeared from the Oak Hill Memorial Park cemetery shortly after the shooting last weekend. After the shooting, Tausan was whisked away from the scene to a nearby hospital and pronounced dead.
According to witnesses, they saw Ruiz being loaded into a car and driven away from the cemetery. Police his Harley still at the scene after the last mourner left the cemetery, and San Jose police spokesman Jose Garcia said his department obtained a warrant to dig up Pettigrew’s grave in search of Ruiz’s body or any other evidence they might find.
“The grave was not desecrated,” Garcia said and added that authorities felt they had to search the grave as Hells Angels members and others poured dirt over the casket rather than the cemetery staff.
Garcia said the investigation was further hindered by the fact that someone had scrubbed the crime scene free of blood and collected bullet casings.
“The crime scene was washed down with water,” Garcia said.
Authorities named Ruiz a suspect during the middle of last week and said they would continue searching for him.
Pettigrew was shot and killed last month during a brawl with a rival biker gang, the Vagos, at a Nevada casino.
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