Biker gang shootout kills 9 outside Waco, Texas, restaurant


Waco, Texas (CNN)Police knew there could be trouble and had officers on the scene even before five rival bike gangs began shooting and stabbing each other, in a brawl that spilled into the adjacent parking lot of several family-friendly businesses, police said.

By the time the melee at the Waco, Texas, Twin Peaks restaurant was finished, at least nine people were dead, 17 were hospitalized and the arrest tally soared into “the 170s,” Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said.

What police saw was more brutal than what they’d anticipated — and that might be an understatement. Swanton said in his 35 years of law enforcement experience, “this is the most violent and gruesome scene that I have dealt with.”

The scores of suspects locked up in the McLellan County Jail on Monday morning face charges of engaging in organized crime in connection with the shootout, Swanton said.

Prosecutors and investigators could elect to level other charges, including capital murder, he said, but the organized crime charge is “pretty serious.”

“It doesn’t get much more significant than that,” he said.

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission shut down the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco for the next week, Swanton said. But it wasn’t a punitive measure, he said; rather, it was shut down because there’s “enough of a reason to believe that more violence would occur there, had they been allowed to remain open for the next seven-day period,” he said.

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