This story has been updated with new information from police.
PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) – Tensions in the world of outlaw biker gangs have hit a fever pitch in Rhode Island.
Law enforcement across New England was put on high alert Saturday when the Massachusetts State Police issued a warning to area police agencies about a fundraiser by the Pagan outlaw motorcycle club. The weekend gathering by the Pagans is of concern because they are in conflict with the famed Hells Angels, and violence has erupted between the two clubs in recent months.
Target 12 has learned a shooting in Pawtucket may be connected to the warring factions. A massive police response descended on Lafayette Street in Pawtucket after one person was shot in the face on Saturday night.
According to Pawtucket Police, a Pagan motorcycle club member was shot while standing outside of the clubhouse at around 10 p.m. Saturday night.
Police on Sunday said the victim, a 49-year-old man, is in critical condition.
Two MC members were questioned by police. One is being charged with weapons violations, the other was released without charges, according to Detective Sergeant Theodore Georgitsis.
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Witnesses on the scene said the incident happened while a biker gathering was going on. A flatbed truck could later be seen taking away a motorcycle from the scene.
Pawtucket Police said R.I. State Police, Providence Police, and Cranston Police offered assistance on scene.
According to an internal intelligence document by the Massachusetts State Police obtained by Target 12, a gathering of the Pagan motorcycle club was anticipated this weekend to raise money following a May “ambush” in which multiple people were assaulted in Fall River.
“This incident is believed to be directly related to the long-standing feud between the Pagan’s and the Hells Angels,” the intelligence said.
Providence police were put on alert because the Hells Angels chapter of Rhode Island Hells Angels is located on Messer Street in the city. Sources say there may have been shots fired in the neighborhood but no one called police to report the incidents.
Sources say the incident may be retribution to an incident in May where seven people were transported after a massive brawl involving rival motorcycle clubs on Pleasant Street in Fall River. Social media posts by the Pagans cited the attack as part of their fundraiser.