UPDATE: Nine dead, dozens injured as biker war breaks out at Texas restaurant

UPDATE 9:15 a.m. – Some 192 people have been arrested and charged with engaging in organized crime in connection to the deadly shooting that broke out between five biker gangs at a Twin Peaks in Waco. Under a Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission mandate, the restaurant is shut down for the next seven days as the investigation continues early Monday morning into the shooting that left nine people dead and at least 18 people injured — an investigation that has included biker gang death threats made against uniformed officers.

“Threats have been made to kill our uniformed officers,” said Waco Police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton early Monday morning, who added that the people arrested could be looking at capital murder charges. “This was a true gang fight.”

WACO, Texas (KXAN) — It started with a fist fight in the bathroom of a Twin Peaks restaurant near the intersection of Interstate 35 and State Highway 6 Sunday afternoon in Waco. It spilled into the bar where it quickly escalated into knife fight and then out into the parking lot where a gun battle raged between five different biker gangs and heavily armed police.

According to our sister station KXAN, nine people are dead and at least 18 are injured; Waco Police are questioning hundreds of people.

“In 34 years of law enforcement, this is the most violent crime scene I have ever been involved in,” Waco Police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said. “There is blood everywhere.”

The altercation between biker gangs began just as church goers arrived at the Central Texas Marketplace for Sunday Lunch.

Waco Police were already on scene when the violence broke out. Officers say bikers were attacking one another with chains, knives, bats, clubs, and firearms.

Could it have been prevented?

“What happened here today could have been avoided,” Sgt. Swanson told the media during a news conference. He went on to say that police alerted the restaurant to the threat of violence and that the manager was asked to discontinue “bike night.”

No bystanders were hurt despite another packed restaurant was just 25 feet from the gun battle.

As bikers from across the state began to pour into town Sunday afternoon, Waco Police decided to close the mall where the restaurant is located.

While five different gangs are believed to be involved in the fight, officers on scene said it appeared some of the gangs appeared to be in alliance with one another.

Why Waco?

Waco’s proximity to Austin and Dallas, by way of Interstate 35 and less-traveled highways, has made it a popular destination for bikers since the 1970’s. The city has several biker bars on the outskirts bearing signs that barring gang members from wearing “colors” inside.

Investigators in Waco say the gangs involved in Sunday’s violence were apparently in town in effort to recruit new members.

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