WASHINGTON, DC: At least nine outlaw biker gang members were killed in Texas on Sunday when a brawl between rival groups erupted into a deadly gun battle in front of terrified families.
Police told local reporters in Waco that they were amazed that none of the people eating lunch in nearby restaurants were wounded in the crossfire as members of up to five gangs fought in a parking lot with guns, clubs, knives and chains.
“In 34 years of law enforcement this is the most violent crime scene I have ever been involved in. There is blood everywhere,” Sergeant Patrick Swanton told the Waco Tribune-Herald.
“Twenty-five feet away there were families,” he said. “This is one of the worst gun fights we’ve ever had in the city limits. They started shooting at our officers.”
The battle broke out in a restroom at the Twin Peaks Sports Bar and Grill, an infamous biker watering hole in a popular shopping and dining center in Waco known as the Central Texas Marketplace, before spilling out into the bar area and then the parking lot.
Police had been aware of a planned biker gathering in advance and officers intervened quickly, but not before gang members had escalated a punch-up to a knife and chain fight—and then to a shoot-out.
Authorities ordered businesses in the area closed and moved witnesses and suspects to safety, amid reports that more gang members were heading to the area to pursue the feud.
Swanton said police had made their concerns known beforehand to Twin Peaks, but that the bar—part of a so-called “breastaurant” chain known for its scantily clad waitresses—had not been cooperative.
Local news outlets reported that as many as 18 people were wounded, mostly from gunshot and stab wounds, and Swanton told reporters that more than 100 weapons were collected from the chaotic and bloody scene.
Officers had fired their weapons in a bid to quell the melee, but Waco police said in a Facebook posting that no officers were injured.
Local reports and television images showed scores of suspects being rounded up, questioned and in some cases loaded into police vans.