9 bikers have been killed and 18 hospitalized in a shoot-out between rival bike gangs yesterday. It happened during the recruitment of new members at the Twin Peaks venue in Texas. The restaurant reportedly ignored police warnings of possible violence at the event but authorities anticipated trouble and pre-positioned officers.
The fight started inside the restaurant's bathroom with a “push or shove or with somebody looking at somebody wrong,” Waco police Sgt Patrick Swanton said.
The argument then quickly descended into a mass assault with punches, kicks and then blunt objects. Many of the weapons were still scattered along the parking lot hours after the shooting.
Swanton said, "In 34 years of law enforcement, this is the most violent crime scene I have ever been involved in."
Multiple police sources told the Waco Tribune it was a fight between the Cossacks and the Bandidos. Based on their leathers, it appears 4 other gangs including: the Scimitars, Los Pirados, the Veterans, and the Leathernecks were also involved.
To escape the fight, some restaurant customers and employees took cover in the freezer, according to CNN affiliate KWTX. The station reported that more than 100 weapons were recovered, and Waco police said officers were continuing to arrest people arriving with weapons.
On the Twin Peaks Restaurants Facebook page, the company posted a statement Sunday evening:
“We were shocked by the shootings that took place in the parking lot of our franchised restaurant in Waco and are still in the process of reviewing all the circumstances surrounding it. 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.”
The Bandidos Motorcycle Club was named by Texan authorities as one of the four most influential gangs in the state alongside the Pagans, Hells Angels, and Outlaws. Members have been convicted of smuggling drugs across the U.S.-Mexican border - an area they are said to specialize in.
The Twin Peaks is a national sports bar and so-called 'breastaurant' chain, akin to Hooters. Dubbed 'the ultimate man cave', Twin Peaks has 55 flat-screen TVs and 24 beers on tap. Waitresses wear revealing red plaid shirts or bikini tops and khaki shorts. The slogan is, 'Eats. Drinks. Scenic Views'.