Houston, May 18: At least nine outlaw rival biker gang members were killed and 18 others injured in "one of the most gruesome" gunfights at a popular sports bar run by an Indian-origin man in the US state of Texas.
Houston, May 18: Eight bikers died at the scene of shooting at Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco around noon yesterday, while another died at a hospital later, police said.
All those who died in the shooting were members of Bandidos and Cossacks biker gangs, local media reported. Authorities had anticipated trouble and pre-positioned officers near the restaurant that draws large lunchtime crowd.
Waco police Sgt Patrick Swanton said at least five rival gangs gathered at the restaurant for a meeting that, he said, focused on turf and recruitment, two areas where the groups have often clashed. Initial probe suggested a dispute broke out in a bathroom, escalated and included knives and firearms.
But, eventually the fight spilled into the restaurant parking lot, he said. There were 150 to 200 gang members inside the restaurant at the time. Bikers shot at each other and at officers, who returned the fire.
"This is probably one of the most gruesome crime scenes I've ever seen in my 34 years of law enforcement," said Swanton.
"I was amazed that we didn't have innocent civilians killed or injured." Swanton said the restaurant was littered with dead bodies, bullet casings, knives, weapons, shattered glass and pools of blood on Sunday night.
He said the 18 people who were taken to hospitals with injuries that include stab and gunshot wounds were also gang members. At least 100 people have been detained for questioning, Swanton said.
Jay Patel, operating partner for the restaurant, said he was "horrified by the criminal, violent acts." "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," Corporate management at Twin Peaks said in a statement.