Nine bikers were dead and 18 were injured during a fight between rival motorcyclist groups at a popular Central Texas restaurant. The incident created panic. The violence took place at a busy Waco shopping center along Interstate 35 just after lunch break, according to Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton. The official informed that eight people died on the spot while another person died at a hospital.
The nine people were members of biker gangs. The 18 people taken to the hospital sustained minor wounds and injuries.
“This is probably one of the most gruesome crime scenes I’ve ever seen in my 34 years of law enforcement,” Swanton said, later adding, “I was amazed that we didn’t have innocent civilians killed or injured.”
Swanton said that no officers were hurt in the incident.
“Their action has saved lives in keeping this from spilling into a very busy Sunday morning,” the spokesman said. “Thank goodness the officers were here, and took the action that they needed to take to save numerous lives.”
Around 100 people have been held for questioning. Swanton said that the shooting might be an outcome of the two rival groups meeting at the restaurant to settle some recruitment issues. The brawl took place in and out of the restaurant. Among the 150 to 200 gang members, a few carried knives and firearms. The dispute started in the washroom and extended further.
McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara said that the nine killed were members of the Bandidos or Cossacks gangs.
“We’ve been made aware in the past few months of rival biker gangs … being here and causing issues,” Swanton said, further explaining that the restaurant’s operators were aware of the meeting in advance but they did not inform police.
“Apparently the management (of Twin Peaks) wanted them here and so we didn’t have any say-so on whether they could be here or not,” Swanton said.
Investigation is underway and officials are going deep into the matter.