- The Washington Times - Monday, April 29, 2002

LAUGHLIN, Nev. (AP) Thousands of bikers rumbled out of town yesterday as investigators sorted out the details of a casino brawl between rival motorcycle gangs that left three persons dead.
Dozens of extra police patrolled the streets to guard against gang retaliation at one of the nation's largest motorcycle festivals.
"It's just a mass exodus," said Sgt. Chuck Jones of the Las Vegas police department, which has jurisdiction over the casino town 80 miles southeast of Las Vegas. "If you go on the highway right now, it's just motorcycle after motorcycle as far as you can see."
Gamblers ran for cover Saturday as 60 to 70 people fought inside Harrah's hotel-casino. Police said gunfire erupted when an argument between the rival Mongols and Hell's Angels gangs escalated.
"Blow by blow, stab by stab, and shot by shot, we know exactly what happened in that casino," said Las Vegas police Lt. Vince Cannito after watching casino surveillance tapes.
The three dead were gang members involved in the fight, police said.
Calvin Schaffer, 33, a member of the Hell's Angels, was arrested Saturday on suspicion of murder, Lt. Cannito said.
After interviewing more than 500 people, police said they arrested three to four people on outstanding warrants unconnected to the shooting, adding that more arrests are possible.
Police said they arrived at the casino two minutes after the casino erupted in gunfire. SWAT teams and law enforcement officers from across Arizona and Nevada were called in.
Officers said the surveillance tapes clearly show one or two members of the Mongols gang surrounded by several members of the Hell's Angels as a fistfight breaks out and quickly escalates.
The tape shows one of the Mongols being shot.
"One of the Hell's Angels guys pulls out a gun and pops him in the head, and after that it's just pandemonium," Sgt. Jones said.
Western Arizona Regional Medical Center in Bullhead City treated seven fight victims. University Medical Center in Las Vegas was treating five patients with gunshot or stab wounds, including a 47-year-old man in critical condition.
Investigators were also doing ballistics tests on shell casings found near a body along Interstate 40 and trying to determine if the killing of the motorcyclist was connected to the casino shooting.

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