Nearly 200 people were arrested on Monday a shootout between rival motorcycle gangs a day earlier where nine people were killed and 18 injured at a restaurant that law enforcement called a horrific crime scene.
The bikers from at least five rival gangs attacked each other with guns, knives, brass knuckles, clubs and motorcycle chains at a Twin Peaks Sports Bar and Grill in the central Texas city of Waco. No bystanders or police were injured, police said.
When the bikers began shooting, officers moved in, some of them also firing their weapons. When the shooting ended, bodies were scattered in the restaurant and across two parking lots.
At least 50 weapons were recovered from the blood-soaked crime scene and 192 people had been arrested in connection with the deadly brawl, Waco police said.
“Yesterday’s events was bad guys on bad guys. When our officers arrived, those bad guys turned their guns on our officers,” Waco Police Sergeant Patrick Swanton told a news briefing.
“Some of those (charged) may have been witnesses, many of those are going to be individuals involved in the shooting, and criminal charges may be applicable for that,” he said.
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is closing Twin Peaks located at a shopping mall by a busy highway for at least seven days “due to the ongoing danger it presents to our community,” police said.
Twin Peaks is a chain restaurant where scantily clad waitresses serve bar food.
Police are worried about retaliation over the attack, saying officers and hospital staff have been threatened.
“I will tell you that we have had threats against law enforcement officers throughout the night,” Swanton said.
The fight appears to have started in a bathroom, moved to the restaurant and then spilled out into paring lots where police had positioned themselves in anticipation of trouble.
Police said restaurant management had been informed about the meeting of the rival gangs and could have done more to prevent the incident. The restaurant manager said he is cooperating with law enforcement.