FRESNO (CBS/AP) — A Fresno motorcycle club’s annual dance, which draws bikers from all over the state, turned into a chaotic gun battle that spilled into the streets, leaving one dead and a dozen others wounded, authorities said.
The Fresno County Coroner on Sunday identified the fatality as 18-year-old Dejuan Gladney. The coroner didn’t list a hometown.
The Fresno County Sheriff’s Department said shots were still being fired when the first of the more than 100 officers arrived at the Soul Brothers clubhouse at about 2 a.m. PDT Saturday.
Sheriff’s spokesman Chris Curtice said in a statement that about 500 people were at a dance inside the clubhouse when shots erupted. The shooting quickly tuned into “a running gun battle” in the street outside the club and hundreds of partygoers were running for cover when the first officers arrived, Curtice said.
Gladney and several injured people were found in the clubhouse, which is located in an unincorporated neighborhood of Fresno County called Calwa. Another victim was found on a nearby street.
Curtice said the injuries ranged from minor to “extremely serious.” More than 100 hundred people were briefly detained and questioned, but no arrests have been made. Authorities have not released the names of the shooting victims.
The Fresno Bee reports the Soul Brothers were hosting an annual party that included other California motorcycle clubs. The Bee also reported that large gatherings of bikers descend on Fresno twice a year, once in the spring and then again in fall. The Bee reported that gatherings frequently turn violent, but that police blame gangs for starting some of the violence rather than the bikers themselves.
The club’s Web site is inoperable and no representative could be reached at the clubhouse. Old newspaper reports say Soul Brothers was formed in 1967 in East Palo Alto as a multi-racial club before moving to Stockton then Fresno. He club also has a Las Vegas chapter, whose phone rang unanswered Sunday.
The Bee reports the Soul Brothers “patch” consists of a black arm with clenched fist crossed with a white arm.
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