WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Police have arrested a man, charged in a shootout involving two biker groups over the summer. Investigators called it a “major step” in the case.
“We’ve steadily been moving on it, it just takes a little bit of time with lab work and stuff,” Chief Don Bishop said.
Officials said 48-year-old James Gardner was picked up on a secret indictment, charging him with aggravated murder and two counts of felonious assault in connection to the June shooting. Gardner, who police say is a member of the biker group Forever Two Wheelz (FTW), was arrested Tuesday morning.
The arrest comes five months into the investigation of the deadly shootout between FTW and rival biker gang the Brothers Regime. According to the indictment, Gardner fired the shot that killed Jason Moore.
“It was a long and tedious investigation, I know that for a fact,” Capt. Robert Massucci said.
Police said the two gangs got into a fight during a bike run at the bar, leading to the shooting in the parking lot. Two members of the Brothers Regime, Moore and Robert Marto, were killed. Andrew Claypool and Walter Hughes were also hospitalized with injuries following the shooting.
The indictment says Gardner was also responsible for Claypool and Hughes’ injuries.
“We’re not really gonna go into a lot of other specifics because we’ve interviewed a lot of people. Interviews are still continuing and our investigation is ongoing,” Bishop said.
David Bailes, Jr., the president of FTW, was also shot during the fight and hospitalized. He was charged with two counts of murder, but those charges were dismissed September 23, according to Warren Municipal Court records.
The city closed FTW’s clubhouse, located on Chestnut Avenue, in July, declaring it a public nuisance and saying it was the scene of criminal activity. The city agreed to dismiss the nuisance abatement last week under the conditions that the building no longer be operated as a clubhouse or used for criminal gang activity.
Gardner is due in court Wednesday morning for his arraignment.