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Fewer Mourners, More Cops Expected For 2nd SJ Hells Angels Funeral

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Steve Tausan, Hells Angels

Steve Tausan (San Jose Mercury News)

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SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – A funeral will be held Saturday at the Oak Hill Cemetery for a Hells Angel member, two weeks after he was shot to death during a burial service at the very same cemetery.

Steve Tausan was killed during the funeral for fellow Hells Angels member Jeffrey Pettigrew, the former president of the San Jose chapter.

There will be a noticeable difference between the two services. The funeral for Pettigrew, a 51-year-old who was killed at a casino resort in Sparks, Nev. last month, drew a crowd estimated at anywhere from 1,500 to 3,000 people, mostly consisting of Hells Angels members or other motorcycle gang members.

By contrast, the funeral for the 52-year-old Steve Tausan will be by invitation only.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

“We’re hoping it will be a fewer number of individuals so it will be more manageable for us,” said police spokesman Officer Jose Garcia.

He said SJPD is varying its approach to this funeral to some extent, mainly by having additional officers at the funeral.

“We’re going to do the same thing as last time,” he said. “We’re going to approach it the same way as far as being on the outside of the cemetery.”

He would not say how many officers will be at the funeral or whether any would be in plainclothes.

Police said Tausan was shot on the afternoon of Oct. 15 by Steven Ruiz, 33, of San Jose, a member of the Hells Angels’ San Jose chapter who was initially believed to have been killed, but investigators have confirmed he is alive and “still on the run.”

Police have said that they believe he is with a female acquaintance, Christel Renee Trujillo, who also goes by the last name Ferguson.

Ruiz is suspected of killing Tausan during an altercation at the Oak Hill Cemetery on Curtner Avenue, and then mysteriously disappearing, leaving behind his motorcycle.

Several Hells Angels members “destroyed evidence,” and were uncooperative or confrontational with police, hampering the investigation, police said.

Officers who had been stationed outside the cemetery for security purposes made their way through the crowd, but once they got to the crime scene, they found it had been “tampered with,” Garcia said.

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.

Officers searched Pettigrew’s grave, but didn’t recover anything that could be considered evidence, police said. They did not open Pettigrew’s coffin.

Police have obtained a Ramey warrant for Ruiz’s arrest.

He is considered armed and dangerous and Trujillo’s life may be in danger, police said.

Police believe Ruiz has two black eyes and other facial injuries. Ruiz and Trujillo may be traveling in a gold or pewter Chevrolet Suburban.

Ruiz has family in Arizona and New York who he may attempt to contact, police said. He is possibly heading out of state, Garcia said Friday.

Anyone with information regarding Ruiz or his whereabouts is asked to call the Police Department’s homicide unit at (408) 277-5283. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call (408) 947-STOP or visit www.svcrimestoppers.org.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News contributed to this report.)

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