SAN DIEGO (AP) — Police searched Sunday for a drive-by shooter who gunned down the president of a San Diego motorcycle club as he worked in the clubhouse driveway, while members of the group he led mourned and paid tribute to the man they called "Wild Dogg."
Detectives haven't identified a motive for the killing of Clyde Thompson Jr., 51, president of the original chapter of the nationwide Black Sabbath Motorcycle Club, police said.
Thompson was working on his bike alongside a friend Friday night when an SUV pulled up and a passenger opened fire, San Diego police Lt. Ernie Herbert said. Thompson was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Black Sabbath Motorcycle Club mourned what it called "Wild Dogg's martyrdom" in a post on the group's Facebook page.
"We continue to struggle to cope with the sobering reality that despite four decades of peaceful, non-violent existence," the post said, "we awake this Mother's Day Sunday having suffered the cowardly, brutal assassination of a Black Sabbath M.C. President, Wild Dogg."
It goes on to call Thompson a "responsible brother with big shoulders. He was simply a very nice person who did not deserve to be shot down in the street like a rabid dog."
The club was founded in 1972 by seven black men who liked to ride on Sundays, the group's website said. The Mighty Black Sabbath M.C. Nation has since become a multicultural club headquartered in Atlanta with 17 chapters nationwide.
Late last year, Thompson took over what is known as the "mother chapter" in San Diego.
John, "Black Dragon" Bunch, the group's national president who lives in Georgia, said members have historically been servicemen and tradesman — adopting nicknames to avoid misunderstandings with employers.
"We don't have a motorcycle club that has a reputation for trouble," Bunch said to UT San Diego. "So we can't imagine who would have the need or the desire to hurt one of our members."
Bunch told the newspaper that Thompson, who led the club through a difficult period after taking over, "was a problem-solver, he was not a troublemaker."
Thompson was survived by a long-term girlfriend and two daughters, according to the club's website.