Well before Stingers Bar and Nightclub closed its doors for the night, San Bernardino police had already helped keep the motorcycle club members from entering the establishment. But by the time it closed, shortly before 2 a.m., the bikers were gathered in the parking lot in an industrial park behind a Motel Six off East Redlands Boulevard.
Some 20-30 shots rang out and patrons and vehicles scattered, according to police and witnesses. One person fell dead, police said.
Two blocks east, at Waterman Avenue, more shots were fired at an Arco service station, police said. Another person died.
By the time the shootings ended, five others had been wounded, with two in "extremely critical condition," said San Bernardino Police Lt. Rich Lawhead.
The two slain victims were identified Thursday night as Petetrial Michael Scott and Jerry Jamale Jackson, both of San Bernardino. Their ages were not immediately available.
Hours later, tensions flared anew as about 75 people, many of them members of the bike group, gathered at Loma Linda University Medical Center, to find out the fate of relatives and friends.
“They were upset after the coroner gave them the news,” San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Cindy Bachman said.
When hospital employees asked the group to stay outside, they became combative, Bachman said. One person threw hot coffee on a San Bernardino police detective. The group was kicked out and officers from Redlands and San Bernardino County sheriff’s assisted.
Lawhead said it's well-known that a motorcycle crowd hangs out at the Stingers Bar and Nightclub on Tuesday nights.
"I have no idea what was said. Sometimes all it takes is a word to get it started," Lawhead said.
The Deuces Motorcycle Club is familiar to police, officials said. Among other incidents, two men were shot outside a Deuces club location in 2010, police said. The club also ran afoul of local planning and zoning officials over a location where it held events in Highland.
Police believe there multiple shooters were involved this time because there were 20 to 30 rounds fired. Investigators will review surveillance tape.
Eugene Jones, a nightclub promoter, told KTLA that shots rang out as people were leaving the club.
The bar closes at 1 a.m., according to its website.
"Everyone got down," he said, adding that three of his friends were wounded. "It's kind of heartbreaking."
Several evidence markers were placed around the Arco gas station that sits at the corner of Waterman Avenue and Redlands Boulevard as police investigated one of the shooting scenes.
By late morning, the emergency room at Loma Linda was empty, save for a huddled group of people crowded inside -- some of them with leather jackets that read "Deuces" -- trying to make sense of the morning's violence.
"My brother died and they won't let us see him and I don't know why," one man said.
"My brother died," said Elgie Scott. "I can't believe my damn brother.... This is unreal. This is so unreal. They won't let us on the second floor."
Calming herself, Scott added:
"It's OK, it's OK.... All I know is I got a call at 5 a.m. saying he was shot up at the club."
Moments later, Scott's sister-in-law walked into the emergency room.
"Why? Why? ... I want to see him! No, please. Please!" the woman cried out over her sobs.
Around 9 a.m. a group of motorcyclists rumbled down Campus Street, their thundering bikes honking at family members and friends trickling out of the hospital.
Among them was Edward Kelly, who said his friend "AWOL" -- also called Lil' Dice -- was killed in the shootings. Kelly said he was unsure if any rival motorcycle clubs had a hand in the violence.
A lowrider himself, he rode with the Deuces only a few times.
"He was a good guy," Kelly said of his friend. "A family guy. He just had a hobby."
Kelly insisted those who ride with the group are all family-oriented people who ride for fun.
"They ain't no gangbangers," he said.
Outside of the nightclub hours after the shooting, one man who declined to give his name because he’s still dealing with authorities, said he arrived at the club just after 1 a.m. He said he had been a DJ there in the past. The club was packed, he said, with some people coming for a comedy show and others dancing or enjoying food on what was Taco Tuesday.
The man said people were starting to leave when he heard gunshots and screams minutes later.
“People were screaming, ‘I’m hit! I’m hit!’ right in front of the door,” he said. He identified one of the motorcycle rider’s shot as the man dubbed Lil' Dice.
“He ran back inside to get protection. He was limping and trying to get to the back door,” the witness said. “A woman was shot too.”
The man said there have been several functions in the club in the past that have attracted bikers, but he said none of them had any problems.
Kim Salazar stopped by the club around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday after hearing that fellow motorcycle riders had been killed and injured.
A member of the Fallen Riders Foundation, she said there is a mutual respect among most riding clubs. They’re not gangs, Salazar said.
“A Facebook member of our group said his family member was shot by a gang, not other riders,” she said.
The Deuces Club used to be in a building on Victoria Avenue, a location that now houses a church, the Iglesias Cristiania Rios De Vida. Some residents said they had bitter memories of the motorcycle club’s stay in the neighborhood.
Roberto Reyes remembers the months he spent calling the police and city officials about the loud motorcycles group that would congregate across the street from his one-story house in Highland.
It's been three years since the motorcycle group left, he said, and the neighborhood is better for it.
"There were gangs," Reyes, 57, said as he took a break from fixing his black Ford truck.
The bikers would rev their motorcycles at 3 a.m., keeping him awake, he said.
Another resident, who would only identify himself as Larry C. out of fear of retaliation said he was glad when the motorcycle club left.
"They completely took over the street. It was like a promenade and they had no respect for the neighborhood," he said. "The church is the greatest thing that happened here," he said.
Times staff writer Ruben Vives contributed to this article.