March 24, 2023


Automotive to Us

One dead and four wounded after motorcycle gangs clash on ‘bike night’ in Lake Ozark

A shooting Thursday night on the strip at Lake Ozark that left one man dead and four injured involved a confrontation between rival motorcycle gangs, a city of Lake Ozark spokesman told The Star.

The victims had not been identified as of Friday evening and conditions of the injured were not known, the city said. Early news media reports had said the shooting was “gang related,” according to police reports, but did not describe what type of gangs were involved.

“We can’t speak yet as to which clubs were involved,” Lake Ozark spokesman Dan Field said in an email. “That’s part of the ongoing investigation.”

Taking the lead in that investigation is the Missouri State Highway Patrol Division of Drug and Crime Control, the city said. Lake Ozark police and other lake-area law enforcement agencies are assisting.

No charges had been filed as of Friday afternoon. Officials said initially that multiple people were detained in connection with the shooting. The news website posted a video purportedly showing a suspect with his hands behind his back being escorted down a street by two law enforcement officers.

The shooting occurred around 7:45 p.m. outside Casablanca Pub and Grille on Bagnell Dam Boulevard. Businesses along that street are popular with locals and tourists at Lake of the Ozarks. One witness who was eating at a restaurant across from Casablanca told that shots were fired after a fist fight erupted into “a full on street brawl.”

“I turned around to tell someone what was going on when we heard the first shot,” quoted the anonymous man as saying. “When I turned to look, a guy was holding his stomach. The punching continued and then another guy pulled out a gun and we heard all of the shots fired. Then we all ran towards the back of the restaurant.”

Thursday was “bike night” at the bar and restaurant, according to a message Casablanca posted on its Facebook page Friday morning.

Calling it “an unfortunate event,” the posting characterized the shooting as “an isolated incident” and said the establishment’s staff was safe. Casablanca also sought to counter fears expressed on social media that the strip was becoming increasingly dangerous and not family friendly due to the number of bars in the area.

“We believe strongly in the Bagnell Dam Strip and appreciate our fellow business owners who have worked very hard to revitalize the strip area for friends, family and visitors,’’ the post said.

Casablanca said it intended to reopen for business for the Friday lunch crowd.

“The deadly shooting is believed to be the first on The Strip in the history of the community,” a Lake Ozark city news release said.

Another fatal shooting occurred in the resort community on Memorial Day weekend at Lazy Gators, which is seven miles west of the strip. Kansas City-based rapper Vonza Watson, whose professional name was VNZA, was shot in the chest during an altercation that Saturday night.

No one has been charged with his killing, but the Camden County Sheriff’s Office said Friday that the investigation is continuing and a news release may be issued next week.