Three motorcycle club members were arrested just hours after a deadly shooting in Pasco County. The victim was the president of a rival motorcycle gang, and now the sheriff is warning there could be more violence.
The shooting happened yesterday afternoon along the Suncoast Parkway and State Road 54. The victim, who has been identified as Paul Anderson, 44, was the president of the local chapter of the Outlaw motorcycle gang.
Anderson was in the northbound lane of Suncoast Parkway when a couple of men on motorcycles pulled up.
One of them tapped on Anderson's window to get his attention. Anderson was then shot and killed.
Through an investigation, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office was able to make three arrests – Michael Dominick Mencher, 51; Allan Guinto, 26; and Christopher Bryant Cosimano, 29. All were members of the rival motorcycle gang, the 69ers.
Investigators say Cosimano was the shooter.
All three are going to be charged with first-degree premeditated murder.
“I can say everything that goes on between these clubs keeps heating up. You have one president of the 69ers kill the president of the Outlaws,” said Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco. “There's no doubt in my mind, there will be more violence."
The deadly shooting is the latest in an ongoing feud between the Outlaws and 69ers motorcycle clubs.
“There's been battles going on between them,” said Nocco. "One was beat up in a bar by the Outlaws. Then they ran the 69ers off the road.”
Both motorcycle clubs are known to be violent. This past May, just south of here, a group of Outlaws ambushed a biker attending Leesburg Bikefest at a Circle K gas station, shooting and killing him.
We spoke to Larry McKinnon with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, who says there is a full war going on between the biker gangs.We also spoke to a St. Petersburg spokesperson who says they monitor motorcycle gang activity case by case.
Nocco says hours after the shooting, they started getting tips that out-of-state gang members are heading to the Tampa Bay area, likely for retaliation. They are warning everyone to be alert.
“Don't be disillusioned,” he said. “There are professionals in these groups, lawyers, in public safety unfortunately. They have 9-to-5 jobs in hospitals and are nurses"
You may not realize it, but both are already in the Tampa Bay area.The Outlaws motorcycle club sign is a skull over two crossbones. They are known to be the dominant club in south Florida, but have chapters in Tampa and St. Petersburg. They have a Facebook page listed as a non-profit with almost 2,000 followers.The 69ers motorcycle club sign is a wolf. Their website shows many chapters including one in Florida. They have a smaller social media presence. Only a few pictures come up when searching on Facebook for them.Both clubs are nationwide.
“That's a big deal when you take out a president and these groups don't take it lightly. And we don't take it lightly and we don't take it lightly because we know what it means. There will be more violence."►Make it easy to keep up-to-date with more stories like this. Download the 10 News app now.Have a news tip? Email email@example.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter feed.