On Sunday morning, May 17, 2015, gunfire erupted in the parking lot of Waco’s Twin Peaks restaurant, leaving nine people dead and many more injured.
At least five rival biker gangs arrived in Waco, Texas for reasons unknown and had a meal at Twin Peaks restaurant. Officers realized that conflicts would arise upon noticing the gangs in town and propositioned officers by the restaurant. According to Sergeant W. Patrick Swanton, “’There were at least three rival gang groups here this morning for whatever reason. As they were here, we had officers on scene. We expected issues’” (cnn.com).
As predicted, a fight broke out that spilled into the parking lot.
With over thirty bikers, the fight quickly escalated from fists to knives and quickly to guns. The bikers were shooting each other and also shooting at officers. The officers returned fire into the slew of barbaric bikers going to war.
The police were able to contain the situation and eventually the fighting ceased, leaving 18 bikers severely injured and nine bikers dead. No civilians or officers were injured, incredibly; however, severe damage was done to the restaurant and surrounding cars in the parking lot. Swanton said, “‘In my nearly 35 years of law enforcement experience, this is the most violent and gruesome scene that I have dealt with'” (cnn.com).
Over 100 weapons were recovered from the scene, and officers arrested all bikers involved and will continue to arrest all bikers that come into the area with weapons.
Swanton also expressed anger at the Twin Peaks restaurant and believes with proper management the situation could have been avoided. Swanton said, “‘Are we frustrated? Sure. Because we feel like there may have been more that could have been done by a business to prevent this'” (cnn.com).
Twin Peaks responded with a statement that said they would review the circumstances and take appropriate action with the Waco franchise. The statement said, “‘We are thankful no employees, guests or police were injured in this senseless violence outside the restaurant, and our sympathies are with the families of those killed'” (cnn.com).
Biker gangs around the area are predicted to be angry at police and have been fair warned to stay away from the area; however, officers remain prepared for bikers thinking about returning to the scene.