RIVERSIDE — Two motorcyclists believed to have ties to the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club were shot and one died during a violent, seemingly unprovoked encounter at a Shell gas station, Sunday night, May 21.
City of Riverside Police officials are trying to determine what, if anything, led to the fatal shooting and have asked for the public’s help identifying those involved in the deadly incident.
The shooting was reported to emergency dispatchers just before 10:30 p.m., when an attendant at the gas station called 911 to report a shooting in progress at the location.
The attendant told dispatchers the shooting was happening directly in front of a row of gas pumps at the business on the 3500 block of Adams Street, near the 91 Freeway, in Riverside.
City of Riverside Police and Fire officials and American Medical Response medics responded to the gas station after emergency dispatchers received the frantic 911 call reporting the shooting after an unknown person opened fire at the group of motorcyclists as they were standing near their bikes and pumps.
When officials arrived, “they located an adult male who was suffering from what appeared to be a gunshot wound,” Riverside Police Sgt. Troy Banks, of the department’s Robbery – Homicide Unit, explained in a written press release after the fatal shooting.
A second motorcyclist who had been riding with the group was struck in the helmet by a bullet but was uninjured, according to officials at the scene.
Firefighter/paramedics immediately began evaluating and treating the fallen biker before American Medical Response medics rushed him to the Riverside Community Hospital for further life saving measures.
In spite of life-saving efforts, the man succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead by hospital staff.
Coroner’s officials later identified the shooting victim as James Duty, 31, of Orange. According to officials, Duty died less than thirty minutes after he was shot. He was pronounced dead at 10:58 p.m.
Detectives from the department’s Robbery – Homicide and Gang Intelligence Units responded to the gas station and assumed the investigation. The were assisted by evidence technicians from the department’s Forensic Unit as well as the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office and coroner’s officials.
During their investigation, officials learned the Orange County victim and at least two other motorcyclists he was riding with were passing through Riverside when they exited the 91 Freeway and stopped to refill their tanks.
As the bikers stood near their motorcycles at a row of pumps, a car reportedly pulled up to the gas station. According to witnesses and evidence recovered at the scene, a passenger exited the vehicle and without provocation began shooting at the motorcyclists, striking two of them. The unidentified shooter then jumped back into the waiting vehicle and it fled the area before officials arrived at the scene.
Officials are trying to determine what, if anything, led to the fatal shooting.
During the shooting investigation the gas station and surrounding area remained cordoned off, while evidence technicians photographed and documented the scene and gathered evidence related to the shooting.
Two bikers, who were detained at the scene – and whom officials did not identify, were wearing vests adorned with Hell’s Angels insignia, patches and logos. The motorcycles and helmets were also covered with Hell’s Angels logos and symbols. Based on their patches and insignia, one was a full-patch Hell’s Angels member and the other was a “prospect,” or prospective member.
As the investigation continued, three heavily customized motorcycles remained at the gas station. One of the three bikes was left laying on its side.
Officers cold be seen searching the ground as well as the gas station’s roof and on top of a large propane tank for possible evidence. As part of their investigation, officials obtained and collected security camera footage from the gas station.
The gas station remained cordoned off and closed to business for several hours until officials concluded their initial investigation.
Anyone with information about this investigation or who witnessed the deadly shooting is encouraged to contact Detective Jim Simons at (951) 353-7138 or Detective Adrian
Tillett at (951) 353-7105. Callers can refer to incident file number P17-090790 and can remain anonymous.