Three members of the Vagos biker gang were killed Sunday night in a highway shooting south of Juárez, Mexico, authorities said.
The shooting occurred near the sand dunes by the town of Samalayuca on the Juárez-Ahumada highway, officials with the Chihuahua attorney general’s office said.
The Vagos were returning from the city of Parral, where a fight had taken place a day earlier among bikers attending the Jornadas Villistas 2019 festival, officials said.
The Vagos Motorcycle Club is considered by U.S. law enforcement as an outlaw biker gang with chapters across the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
On Sunday night, the bikers were shot and killed when they were stopped on the road after an exchange of words with an unidentified person or persons, said Jorge Nava Lopez, the state prosecutor for the northern district of Chihuahua.
Investigators found 22 bullet casings from a 9 mm firearm along the highway about 30 miles south of Juárez, , Nava said in a news conference video posted by El Mexicano newspaper.
The newspaper identified the bikers killed as Valentín Valdez, 60, Francisco Meraz Flores, 47, and Jorge Alan Chavez Gonzalez, 20. Hometowns were not named.
Investigators were interviewing a woman who was injured in the confrontation but not by gunfire , Nava said.
The investigation is trying to determine if the triple-homicide is linked to the fight a day earlier in Parral in the southern part of Chihuahua, Nava said.
Cellphone video shared by Mexican news outlets showed bikers in denim Vagos Mexico vests in a confrontation with two bikers in red-flannel shirts in Parral.
The men are separated after some pushing, shouting and a Vagos member swinging a metal rod. One biker in red is left bleeding. The men in red are not wearing items with a visible name of a biker club.
Vagos club logo depicts Loki, the Norse god of mischief, and members often wear green. The club was formed in Southern California in the 1960s.
Vago can mean mischief maker, wanderer or slacker in Spanish.
Nearly two dozen Vagos in California, Nevada and Hawaii were arrested in a federal racketeering organized crime indictment in 2017.
Vagos bikers had attended the Jornadas Villistas festival celebrating the history of Mexican revolutionary Francisco “Pancho” Villa with concerts, cultural events and a motorcycle run.
Villa, nicknamed the “Centaur of the North,” was shot and killed in an ambush in Parral in 1923.