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Thursday, 30 June 2011

Winnipeg biker gangs at War

09:53 |

Shots fired into a Winnipeg home - the second straight day a southeast Winnipeg home was shot up - are the result of an "active war" between rival gangs, sources say, and it's feared the violence will escalate.

Neighbours noticed smoke pouring out of a St. Vital house around the time gunshots rang out about 4 a.m. Wednesday. Winnipeg police would not confirm the home was firebombed.

A man and a woman, reportedly the parents of a high-ranking member of the local Rock Machine chapter, made it out of the home unharmed and no injuries were reported. The man who was the suspected target wasn't home at the time.

A day earlier, no one was hurt when shots were fired into a home that is allegedly associated with the Rock Machine.

Sources suggested police are investigating whether the shootings are a retaliatory move after a string of recent attacks, including one that involved a flare gun being fired into the window of a home linked to a Redlined Support Crew associate, possibly in an effort to burn down the house, a source said.

"There is an active war between the Rock Machine and the Redlined," a source told QMI Agency.

Another source said the situation has "been building up to this."

"It's going to continue to escalate," the source said. "We don't know what point it's going to reach."

The Redlined are affiliated with the Manitoba chapter of the Hells Angels. The original Rock Machine - this latest incarnation launched about three years ago - and the Quebec Hells Angels were locked in a deadly, drug-fuelled feud in the 1990s that claimed about 160 lives.

Police have been warning about a possible eruption in violence between the rival gangs for more than a year after a Rock Machine member was lured to a south Winnipeg auto shop in January 2010 and badly beaten by Redlined members.

After that, all sides have armed themselves as retribution is expected, police wrote in a February 2010 affidavit. The document also suggested Redlined Support Crew members and other Hells Angels supporters have been ordered to seek out Rock Machine members or associates and "take care of them by any means necessary."


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