Violent tension between biker gangs in Chicago, Illinois, is reportedly escalating following years of relative peace.
Chicago’s infamous Outlaws Motorcycle Club is warring against the Mongol Nation Motorcycle Club, a rival group that has reportedly been crowding in on the Outlaws' turf in the city, according to bikers and police sources who spoke to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Multiple shootings between the gangs have recently taken place in the city, according to Chicago police reports.
In one incident, four Outlaws members and a member of the Mongols were reportedly struck during a shoot-out at a birthday party at a bar on the South Side, which was shut down last week by police as a public nuisance.
Approximately 20 Outlaws sought revenge when they walked into the bar, according to a law enforcement source who spoke to the outlet.
The shooting left one of the Outlaws wounded in the left elbow, and while most of the bikers shot were not wounded seriously, one who was shot in the chest was left in critical condition.
One Mongol member who was struck in the right arm had also been wounded in a 2021 shootout, according to police reports and court records reported on by the outlet.
People in the bar reportedly cleaned up evidence in the establishment such as shell casings, the law enforcement source said.
The source went on to say that the bikers who were wounded have not cooperated with investigators, that no guns were found at the bar and no one has been charged yet.
The Mongols came to Chicago in recent years from California, which has reportedly rankled the Outlaws who believe the city is their territory, leading to various alleged acts of provocation and occasional violence.
David Santillan, who served as president of the Mongols until members gave him the boot last year, said he was involved with the decision to bring the group to Chicago, but maintained that it was never intended to provoke the Mongol group.
"We don’t fish out of the same pond," Santillan said, according to the outlet, which noted the gang typically recruits among young Latinos. "We’re looking at a different demographic."
"If you’re our friends, and we coexist in other areas, why can’t we coexist in Chicago?" Santillian asked.
Santillan reduced the conflict between the gangs as a "whose d---’s bigger contest."
"They feel like they have to defend their real estate," he said, explaining how the shootouts that have taken place have been unfortunate, but could have been much more terrible.
"A bunch of guys could have ended up dead," he said.
Beliving the Outlaws want to look strong, Santillan predicted more conflict.
"There’s a lot of bad blood brewing," he said.