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Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Joseph McGuire who was shot by an off-duty police officer during the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is still recovering from his injuries

14:04 |

A man who was shot by an off-duty police officer during the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is still recovering from his injuries at Rapid City Regional Hospital, officials reported Sunday.
Joseph McGuire, 33, of Imperial Beach, Calif. who is a member of the notorious Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, was shot at about 1 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 9 at the Loud American Roadhouse, a bar in Sturgis. According to previous reports in the Seattle Times, he had suffered wounds to his stomach and his leg. His condition is improving, as McGuire has been moved from the intensive care unit to a different floor of the hospital.Ron Smith, 43, an off-duty Seattle police officer who is a member of the Iron Pigs Motorcycle Club, an organization of law enforcement officers and firefighters who are also motorcycle enthusiasts, allegedly shot McGuire. According to previous reports, the shots were fired after an altercation started between Smith and several Hells Angels. McGuire has reported to the Seattle Times that he felt as though his life was in danger during the attack.While there has been some speculation that the reason for the fight between the Hells Angels and the Iron Pigs was because the officers refused to remove their motorcycle club “colors” or patches, authorities now think there could be more to the case. Less than a year ago Smith testified against members of the Hells Angels group, a testimony that sent at least four members of the gang to prison on racketeering and attempted murder charges. Authorities have not uncovered any evidence that suggests the Hells Angels altercation was related to Smith's testimony, but officials are not ruling it out as a possibility.Smith has not yet been charged in the shooting. After being detained for questioning Saturday night, he was allowed to return home to Seattle, where he and other officers who were present during the shooting have reportedly been relieved of duty while an investigation continues. A grand jury, which was originally assembled Sunday, Aug. 10, is scheduled to reconvene Aug. 27 at the Meade County Courthouse to hear testimony from witnesses in the bar, law enforcement investigating the case, and others.One of the issues to be discussed is whether Smith legally had a firearm with him while in the Loud American Roadhouse, a popular hangout during the Rally. While state law prohibits off-duty police officers from carrying firearms into an establishment that sells alcohol, a federal law entitled the “Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004” allows officers to carry firearms at all times, with few exceptions. The law does not allow officers to carry the weapons when they are intoxicated.

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