LEESBURG, FLA. (April 30, 2017) -- A dispute between members of the Outlaws and Kingsmen Motorcycle clubs led to a shootout Saturday that left two men injured in Leesburg, according to records.
The shooting happened as members from both clubs started arguing about 8 p.m. at a Circle K gas station at 3300 W. Main Street. Guns were drawn and two men were shot, both three times each, police said.
About three miles east of the shooting, Leesburg was hosting its largest event — Leesburg Bikefest — in its downtown area. The event was expected to bring more than 200,000 bikers to the Lake County city.
The injured men have been identified as David Donovan, 41, and Marc Knotts, 48. Police say one of the men was wearing a bulletproof vest at the time of the shooting.
Various clubs roll through Leesburg annually for the event, and officials said they typically don’t have issues with them.
Scene outside the Circle K in Leesburg, Florida
Leesburg Police Lt. Joe Iozzi said there was a sizable police presence around the city Sunday.
“I would like to reiterate that this was an isolated incident which occurred far outside the downtown venue area,” Iozzi said Sunday. “ … There will remain an enhanced law enforcement presence in and around the greater Leesburg area throughout the event.”
No arrests have been made, but Iozzi said they are looking for one primary suspect who fled after the shooting. The man is not from this area.
Leesburg police say both Donovan and Knotts are in stable condition at area hospitals.
Donovan’s Facebook page is filled with photos of him wearing Kingsmen gear. He doesn’t have a criminal history in Florida besides a drug arrest in 1998 in Naples where the charges were dropped.
Federal authorities last year arrested 16 members of the Kingsmen Motorcycle Club, including one member in Tavares, in an effort to dismantle the group after an execution-styled killing in New York.
Those arrested were active in club chapters in Leesburg, DeLand and Daytona Beach.
Knotts was a member of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club, according to an arrest report in Marion County.
He faced charges in 2013 after he was accused of threatening a driver who cut both him and another Outlaws member off, according to a report in the Ocala Star-Banner.
Both motorcyclists were armed with guns and charged with aggravated assault, deputies said. Authorities noted both were members of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club, the newspaper reported. It’s unclear what the results of the charges were.
The Outlaws were also connected to a bar fight in April in Daytona Beach that led to one of its members being fatally stabbed, several weeks after Daytona Bike Week, authorities said. The fight was between the Outlaws and Pagans, according to a report by The Daytona Beach News-Journal.
Motorcycle clubs have been linked to violence across Central Florida over the years.
Last year, two motorcycle club members were shot and killed (link is external) outside an Orange County strip club several months apart.
In 2012, three people died after a shootout with members of the Warlocks motorcycle gang in a Winter Springs VFW parking lot.