UPDATED 7:18 PM For the second time in a month, a local Hells Angels member was shot to death in public. Steve Tausan, 52, was attending a funeral Saturday for the late president of the motorcycle club’s San Jose chapter, Jeffrey Pettigrew, who was killed in a casino shooting in September. Pettigrew also worked as a city of San Jose employee.
Tausan was shot while police stood not far from the funeral gathering, which had an estimated 4,000 people in attendance. He died from his injuries later in the day at a hospital. Police say the crime scene was tampered with and motives for the shooting are still unconfirmed.
Tausan, a former San Jose Hells Angel member who later became part of the Santa Cruz chapter, had a history of violence and was nicknamed “Mr. 187.” In 1997, Tausan was accused of beating a Pink Poodle strip club patron to death. A jury acquitted him and a manager for the strip club of all charges.
Police are continuing to investigate Saturday’s shooting, which occurred at the Oak Hill Cemetery on Curtner Avenue. Funeral attendees called police to report the shooting around 12:50 pm.
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,” Officer Jose Garcia said. He did not explain further. Someone at the funeral took Tausan to a hospital by the time officers arrived.
No arrests have been made, but the Mercury News is reporting that Steve Joseph Ruiz, a 38-year-old San Jose Hells Angels member, is the prime suspect in Tausan’s death.
Bay City News contributed to this report.