The Texas State police say not less than nine people have been killed after a shoot out between rival biker gangs in Waco on Sunday, May 17, 2015.
The incident which took place at the Twin Peaks Sports Bar and Grill in a shopping area called the central Texas Market Place also left no less than 18 people injured and about 100 others were arrested.
All of the dead are bikers as eight of them died at the scene while the ninth died at the hospital.
According to Waco Tribune-Herald, one witness said the car park of the restaurant resembled “a war zone”. “There were maybe 30 guns being fired in the parking lot, maybe 100 rounds,” Michelle Logan said.
Diners at the cafe alongside staff had to lock themselves in a freezer room to avoid getting mixed up in the middle of a bad situation. They were later escorted out by armed police.
According to Waco police, the shooting occured shortly after middday when the rival gangs got into a fight over the parking space near the cafe and not less than five gangs were involved in the fight.
Sergeant W Patrick Swanton, the spokesman for the police said the fight had started with punches thereafter escalating to clubs, chains, knives and firearms.
“This is probably one of the most gruesome crime scenes I’ve ever seen in my 34 years of law enforcement,” he said.
Police in the area had known prior that the meeting would hold and they moved in as soon as the shooting started.
According to Associated Press, McLennan County Sheriff, Parnell McNamara,revealed that all nine who were killed were members of the Banditos or Cossacks gangs.
“These are very dangerous hostile biker gangs,” Sgt Swanton said. “A lot of innocent people could have been injured today.”
One witness said he and his family had just finished eating their lunch in the cafe and walked into the parking lot when they heard gunshots. “We crouched down in front of our pick-up truck because that was the only cover we had,” the witness, who preferred anonymity, said.
Sgt. Swanton reveled that the groups involved might have moved to other neighbouring surroundings in and outside Waco. residents have been asked by the police to avoid the area until an all-clear was issued. The incident has led to the closure of several nearby roads.
Thankfully, no Waco police officers was injured in the shooting.