Leesburg Florida —
An argument between two opposing motorcycle clubs erupted in gunfire Saturday evening — just two miles down the road from where thousands had gathered for the annual Leesburg Bikefest event. No suspects have been arrested.Two men from opposing motorcycle clubs were shot. They were both flown to local area hospitals for treatment.
Members from both groups started arguing about 8 p.m. at the Circle K gas station at 3300 W. Main Street when members pulled out guns, Leesburg Police Lt. Joe Iozzi said.
“Every year, we’ve had motorcycle clubs [at the event] but we’ve never really had problems with them in the past,” Iozzi said. “This incident is definitely not the norm for us.”
He said he doesn’t expect there to be any other incidents involving the groups over the weekend.
Joe Shipes, who heads the Leesburg Partnership, which puts together Leesburg Bikefest agreed, calling the shooting “very isolated.”
“We always have these clubs come through without incident,” he said. “..We have a very large law enforcement presence here because safety is always a priority.”
The names of the motorcycle clubs have not been released. Neither man was local.
“We haven’t seen any violence like this since Bikefest started but unfortunately, this is an effect of all these people and groups coming to our city,” Iozzi said.
He said the Leesburg Police Department has had a number of intelligence briefings about several motorcycle clubs, which appear to be “1-percenter” clubs.
These “1-percenter” clubs are known to be involved in crime unlike the majority of motorcycle groups that are law abiding.
Iozzi said one of the clubs has been involved in other crimes across the state, including a homicide in Volusia County during Bike Week.
No other details were immediately available.