Waco police: Several killed in biker gangs' shootout
Posted: May 17, 2015 6:48 PM CDT
Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton told CBS affiliate KWTX the shooting began shortly after noon Sunday at the Twin Peaks restaurant, located in the Central Texas Market Place on Interstate 35.
KWTX reported eight people were killed at the restaurant and one other person died at a hospital, according Swanton.
The severity and number of injuries was not immediately clear and it wasn't known if bystanders were among the victims.
Swanton said two gangs were involved in the initial dispute, with a third joining in later. He said the fight quickly escalated from fists and feet to chains, clubs and knives, then to shooting.
Officers at the scene fired their weapons as well, Swanton said.
The scene at Twin Peaks was \"as secure as it can be right now,\" Swanton said a few hours later, but police are concerned that groups who were involved in the first incident may be moving to other locations in and around Waco where more violence could erupt.
\"We have multiple medical and law enforcement resources in the area who are dealing with the issue,\" Swanton said, adding that people should avoid the area until an all clear can be issued.
At about 2 p.m., a second crime scene was being investigated at the Waco Convention Center, KWTX reported. Few details were known about the situation there.
One law enforcement spokesman said there were several armed officers and EMS units on the scene and Washington Avenue and University Parks Drive in that area had been closed.
A KWTX photographer at the convention center said he witnessed several men being arrested there.
Officers also were en route to the Flying J Truck Stop on Interstate 35 because a large number of bikers had gathered there.
A witness who was having lunch at another restaurant in the Market Place told KWTX he and his family were walking into the parking lot when they heard several gunshots.
\"We crouched down in front of our pick-up truck because that was the only cover we had,\" the man said, asking the station not to release his name.
The witness said he saw several wounded men being treated. He also said there were several police officers at the scene and ambulances were responding to the scene to aid those hit by gunfire.
The Interstate 35 exit onto Loop 340 southbound was closed, as is the access road that runs alongside the highway. Ambulances from West, Limestone and Coryell counties were at the scene to assist local EMS units.
Trouble at Twin Peaks among rival bikers had been brewing for some time, McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna told KWTX about two weeks ago.
Reyna said local police were on heightened alert in anticipation of trouble on Thursday nights, when Twin Peaks hosts a Biker Night. He said trouble between two local motorcycle gangs escalated when bikers from the Dallas-Fort Worth area became involved.