UC San Francisco hospital patients will be surprised today to learn that UCSF Police have arrested the shooter in the recent Sparks, Nevada murder of Hells Angel member Jethro Pettigrew, a San Jose area man, just outside their doors. Last evening, a UC San Francisco police officer spotted Ernesto Manuel Gonzalez, 53, of San Jose near the UCSF campus at about 8:20 p.m. and took him into custody without any shots being fired.
Gonzalez, a Vagos gang member, has just been identified as the most-wanted in connection with the homicide of Jeffrey “Jethro” Pettigrew, 51, the current president of the motorcycle club chapter in San Jose, who also worked for the city’s public works department. Pettigrew was shot in the back 4 times in an attack inside John Ascuaga’s Nugget casino. Gonzalez was seen on security video with a gun moments earlier, and spotted by the CHP in a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu days later. Just yesterday morning, a warrant was issued for Gonzalez.
Gonzalez unwittingly parked his Malibu along Division and Alameda streets last evening, just a block away from UCSF police headquarters. After that, it was all downhill. A quick-thinking campus police officer spotted Washington state license plates on the Malibu and noticed that the occupant was acting suspiciously. The officer confronted him, asked for identification, and when he ran Gonzalez’s name in a database, it reported him as wanted in connection with the shooting death of Jeffrey Pettigrew last Friday at John Ascuaga’s Nugget casino, said Paul Berlin, assistant chief of the UCSF Police Department.
The quick-thinking officer was Sargeant John Gutierrez, a former Oakland police narcotics investigator named “officer of the year” in that city. The police department of Sparks, Nev. will come to retrieve Gonzalez after he’s been arraigned, according to UCSF police. UCSF maintains its own campus police department for a ‘city’ of over 10,000 employees and patients. Today, UCSF PD is very proud that one of its own was able to bring in a dangerous criminal. Gonzalez was being actively sought by CHP, local police and likely by rival gangs.