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Biker gang shooting in Henderson may have been retaliation, prosecutor says

Updated June 2, 2022 - 5:41 pm

A highway shooting in Henderson involving rival motorcycle gangs may have been an act of retaliation, a prosecutor said Thursday.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Danielle “Pieper” Chio said a member of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang was killed in April in San Bernardino, California, and the killing may have led to Sunday’s shooting on U.S. Highway 95.

“So the concern is that there’s retaliatory shootings going back and forth between the two jurisdictions and between the two clubs,” Chio said during a hearing Thursday in Henderson Justice Court.

Three Hells Angels bikers are accused of opening fire Sunday on members of the Vagos Motorcycle Club. The three suspects appeared in court on Thursday, and Justice of the Peace David Gibson Sr. set bail for each at $380,000.

Russell Smith, 26, Stephen Alo, 46, and Richard Devries, 66, have been charged with conspiracy to commit murder, six counts of attempted murder with a deadly weapon, six counts of battery with a deadly weapon and six counts of discharging a gun at or into an occupied structure, court records show.

Devries was identified in a Henderson Police Department arrest report as the president of the Las Vegas chapter of the Hells Angels. Alo and Smith are described in the report as prospects for the chapter.

Prosecutors on Thursday initially asked for a $1 million bail for each of the defendants, while defense attorneys argued that Hells Angels were granted lower bails in other, high-profile cases involving the group.

Gibson said he felt a high bail was appropriate in order to prevent future violence.

“I can’t predict the future, but I can kind of control it,” he said.

Defense attorney Richard Schonfeld, who is representing Devries, said he has not seen any “concrete allegations” that Devries was personally involved in the shooting.

“Mr. Devries maintains his innocence and we will address the allegations at the future court proceedings,” Schonfeld said in a statement on Thursday.

Early Sunday, as members of the Vagos biker gang were preparing for the “Flags over Dam” ride near Hoover Dam, they saw multiple members of the Hells Angels group “riding around,” according to the arrest report.

The Vagos riders then went to the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder City, where the same Hells Angels prospects “drove through the cemetery and began to cause problems,” according to the report.

Police said the Vagos members were riding north on U.S. Highway 95 near Wagon Wheel Drive when multiple Hells Angels members pulled up next to the Vagos group.

Some of the Hells Angels riders tried to kick a Vagos rider over, and one Hells Angels member “stood up on their motorcycle and started shooting,” the report said.

Prosecutors said about 15 shots were fired, and stray bullets were shot across the freeway. Chio said one of the stray bullets struck a car parked in front of a church.

Six of the Vagos riders were injured, and two were in critical condition as of Sunday. Police said a seventh person was wounded in the shooting and showed up at a local hospital with survivable injuries.

Chio said Thursday the seventh person injured was a member of the Hells Angels.

The Vagos biker club was formed in San Bernardino, California, in the mid-1960s and has spread to at least seven countries.

Chio said the recent shooting in San Bernarndino happened at a bar on April 23. According to a San Bernardino Police Department press release, 32-year-old James Dickson was killed at about 10 p.m. that day, and three others were injured with gunshot wounds.

San Bernardino Police Department Sgt. Equino Thomas said Thursday that he could not confirm if Dickson was involved with either motorcycle gang.

No arrests have been made in connection with Dickson’s killing, Thomas said.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

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