Sunday 11 December 2016

192 arrested as bodies scattered across car park after deadly Texas brawl between 'dangerous, hostile' biker gangs

Carey Gillam

Published 18/05/2015 | 06:36

Police in Waco, Texas said that 192 people were being arrested in connection with a biker gang shootout that left nine dead and 18 injured a day earlier.

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Those under arrest will face charges of engaging in organized crime, police said in a statement.

Nine people were killed and 18 were injured on Sunday when a simmering feud among rival biker gangs boiled over at a sports bar in Waco, Texas, leading to a gun battle in the parking lot, police said.

The clash took place outside the Twin Peaks Sports Bar and Grill at a shopping mall in the central Texas city, police said. Eighteen people were taken to area hospitals with injuries that included gunshots and stab wounds, said Waco Police Sgt. Patrick Swanton.

Authorities investigate a shooting in the parking lot of the Twin Peaks restaurant Sunday, May 17, 2015, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Jerry Larson)
Authorities investigate a shooting in the parking lot of the Twin Peaks restaurant Sunday, May 17, 2015, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Jerry Larson)
Police escort a man at the scene of a shooting in Waco, Texas, in this handout photo provided by the Waco Police Department on May 17, 2015. REUTERS/Waco Police Department/Handout
Authorities investigate a shooting in the parking lot of the Twin Peaks restaurant Sunday, May 17, 2015, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Jerry Larson)
Authorities investigate a shooting in the parking lot of the Twin Peaks restaurant Sunday, May 17, 2015, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Jerry Larson)
Law enforcement officers investigate the parking lot of a Twin Peaks restaurant Sunday, May 17, 2015, in Waco, Texas. Waco Police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton told KWTX-TV there were "multiple victims" after gunfire erupted between rival biker gangs at the restaurant. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP)
Bikers wait in a line as law enforcement officers investigate the parking lot near a Twin Peaks restaurant Sunday, May 17, 2015, in Waco, Texas.(Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP)
A McLennan County deputy stands guard near a group of bikers in the parking lot of a Twin Peaks restaurant Sunday, May 17, 2015, in Waco, Texas. Waco Police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton told KWTX-TV there were "multiple victims" after gunfire erupted between rival biker gangs at the restaurant. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP)
A law enforcement officer walks past debris near the parking lot of a Twin Peaks restaurant Sunday, May 17, 2015, in Waco, Texas. Waco Police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton told KWTX-TV there were "multiple victims" after gunfire erupted between rival biker gangs at the restaurant. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP)
EDS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT - Law enforcement officers investigate a shooting in the parking lot of the Twin Peaks Restaurant Sunday, May 17, 2015, in Waco, Texas. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune Herald via AP)
Authorities block an access road as an investigation continues near a Twin Peaks restaurant Sunday, May 17, 2015, in Waco, Texas. Waco Police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton told KWTX-TV there were "multiple victims" after gunfire erupted between rival biker gangs at the restaurant. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP)

The fight, which involved members of at least three gangs, erupted shortly after noon and quickly escalated into a brawl involving clubs, knives and chains, Swanton said. The fight may have been tied to a dispute over a parking spot, Swanton said.

When the bikers began shooting, officers moved in, some of them also firing their weapons. When the shooting ended, bodies were scattered across two parking lots.

Authorities investigate a shooting in the parking lot of the Twin Peaks restaurant Sunday, May 17, 2015, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Jerry Larson)
Authorities investigate a shooting in the parking lot of the Twin Peaks restaurant Sunday, May 17, 2015, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Jerry Larson)

"These are very dangerous, hostile biker gangs," Swanton told reporters. "A lot of innocent people could have been injured today."

There would likely have been more casualties, Swanton said, but police were on the scene when the fight erupted, anticipating "issues" with what he called "criminal" gangs.

Eight people were killed at the scene and one died at an area hospital, Swanton said. All of the fatalities were bikers, and no officers were hurt.

The spokesman could not say if any of the casualties were the result of police gunfire.

It was unclear if any of the injured were non-gang members.

Swanton said police were frustrated with the management of Twin Peaks, a chain restaurant that bills itself as the "ultimate sports lodge" and features scantily clad female servers. He said police had warned the bar that there might be trouble.

Jay Patel, Twin Peaks franchise operating partner, posted a statement on Facebook saying the company shared in the "community's trauma" and was cooperating with police.

"We are horrified by the criminal, violent acts that occurred outside of our Waco restaurant today," Patel said on Facebook.

Some area businesses closed early Sunday after police warned people to stay away from the area. Swanton said police had received intelligence that other gang members might be coming to the area for "payback."

Three gang members were arrested trying to enter the crime scene, Swanton said. It is not clear if more arrests will be made, he said.

Police from multiple jurisdictions were helping with security and the investigation, Swanton said.

Reuters

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