SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – Police were interviewing witnesses and looking for more in the fatal shooting Saturday of a Hells Angels member at the funeral for the head of the San Jose Hells Angels, but were tight-lipped about details in the case.

On Monday, police identified the man who was shot to death as 52-year-old Steve Tausan.

The funeral was being held at the Oak Hill Cemetery on Curtner Avenue and was attended by an estimated 4,000 people, Officer Jose Garcia said.

Garcia said the funeral was for Jeffrey Pettigrew, the 51-year-old president of the Hells Angels’ San Jose chapter who was killed at John Ascuaga’s Nugget casino resort in Sparks, Nev., on the night of Sept. 23.

Pettigrew’s daughter, Summer Pettigrew, described Tausan as her father’s best friend. The San Jose Mercury News reported Tausan was a “sergeant-at-arms,” or rules enforcer, for the Santa Cruz Hells Angels chapter.

Saturday’s shooting was reported around 12:50 p.m. Officers arrived at the cemetery and made their way through the crowd, but once they got to the crime scene, they found it had been “tampered with,” Garcia said. He did not explain further.

Someone at the funeral had taken Tausan to a hospital by the time the officers arrived. Tausan had been shot at least once and died of his injuries at the hospital, Garcia said.

Garcia said Tausan, a San Jose resident, was a “confirmed or validated member of the Hells Angels” motorcycle club. He would not comment on which chapter he was affiliated with.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

In October 1997, Tausan and two others were charged with the murder of Kevin James Sullivan at the Pink Poodle strip club in San Jose on Aug. 24, 1997.

Tausan and one of the other defendants were ultimately acquitted by a jury. The third man pleaded no contest to a conspiracy charge before the trial started.

Garcia said detectives were “actively working the case,” interviewing several witnesses and looking for more.

No arrests have been made in connection with Tausan’s murder, and as of Monday morning, police had not identified any suspects.

Garcia said the investigation is ongoing and a motive for the shooting has not yet been established.

Garcia said “it’s possible” the shooter may have been attacked himself and taken away, as some witnesses reported.

He said that after the shooting, most people left but some remained for Pettigrew’s interment.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

Comments (18)
  1. Roxy Jimenez says:

    in my mind a gang is a gang.. and should be treated the same as anyother gang… if the authorities know where this gang’s CLUB HOUSE is.. then why aren’t they being raided like all the others the gang task force has reaided?

    1. EightyOne says:

      They ARE raided, happens usually once a year or so. Difference is these men are an organized group that actually do great things and support their community and their family. Next time educate yourself before you spew such ignorant filth.

      Support your local 81.

      1. oberst says:

        Drug manufacturing and distribution are my favorite contributions by the HA.

      2. F...81 says:

        EightyOne your an idiot just like the rest of HA. The only thing HA has on anybody is money and where do they get that from?? drugs not these stupid events that they put on and charge people $20. Hopefully all HA are dead soon

      3. You will lose says:

        HEY, F…81, hows about you go to the club house and call them iniots to their faces and not hiding behind your PC screen with mommie as your body guard……man up and go for it big mouth……..

      4. oberst says:

        INIOTS!! YES, CALL THEM INIOTS!! Certainly an HA or a supporter. DUHHH

    2. George Braun says:

      cause the cops in sj are lame. they let the murderer escape with the body. Time to move out!!!!

  2. EightyOne says:

    Tauson was the Sgt. at Arms of the Santa Cruz chapter. Pettigrew was the president of the San Jose chapter. Says that right in the article.

  3. oberst says:

    So this is now two HA’s gone, plus possibly a third? Sweet!!! 1% LOOSERS!!

    1. Quack says:

      and YOU make 2% oberst…..

      1. oberst says:

        I guess you don’t know the lingo.

  4. ahh says:

    old children at play…..

  5. dbarco says:

    Murder for hire, murder, drug distribution, extortion, …. solid civic values?!!!
    A Santa ride doesn’t make an upstanding civic group!

  6. MR 81BIKER says:


  7. Terrie Kohrt says:

    Let the men that were killed rest in peace, and take all your comments to the man upstairs,these men that are not here now are going to be missed they were Fathers Husbands,Brothers and Home owners they were Good men .

  8. Stevo 11b says:

    I was there., Right there. ,,steve was my friend, a fellow combat vet. He had boxing gym. He let disabled vets like me work out for free. taught us boxing. He Bailed out vets for free if they got in trouble. I fought in Iraq and other places.. He was my friend I watched him die. I was not then or now a HA..IM a patriot rider. Please dont talk badly about my friend. He made my lif easier..

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