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170 Bikers Jailed in Texas Melee that Left Nine Dead

Police detain and watch members of various motorcycle clubs near a Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas, Sunday, May 17, 2015.
Police detain and watch members of various motorcycle clubs near a Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas, Sunday, May 17, 2015.

About 170 rival motorcycle gang members remained jailed Monday in the southwestern U.S. state of Texas and held on $1 million bonds in the aftermath of the deadly noontime shootout and brawl at a restaurant the day before.

Police in Waco, Texas said they are continuing to investigate what sparked the carnage that left nine bikers dead and 18 injured at the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas.

They said as many as five gangs, including bikers wearing jacket insignias of the Bandidos, Cossacks and Scimitars, fought each other with guns, knives, brass knuckles and motorcycle chains.

"We had wounded inside. We had people stabbed. We had people shot and we had people beat," Waco police Sergeant Patrick Swanton told reporters. Police said about 100 weapons were recovered from the scene, with shell casings strewn about.

He said police had warnings that the bikers planned to gather at Twin Peaks, a chain of sports bars known for their scantily clad waitresses, but that the restaurant management had refused to cooperate in advance to curb any trouble. On Monday, the chain's management revoked the franchise rights of the Waco outlet.

Originally, police said 192 were arrested, but lowered the number as officials continued their investigation. The bikers were charged with engaging in organized crime for capital murder, but some could face other charges.

Swanton said that after the arrests of the bikers, "We have had threats against law enforcement officers throughout the night from various biker groups.”

He added, “We are very aware that some of them have come into our city and we have a contingency plan to deal with those individuals if they try to cause trouble here."

Swanton said the violence Sunday began shortly after noon at Twin Peaks, located in a busy shopping center in Waco, but spilled outside onto a patio and parking lot. He said about 150 to 200 bikers were inside during the shootout.

McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara, whose office is involved in the investigation, said all nine killed were members of the Bandidos or Cossacks gangs.

The Bandidos, formed in the 1960s, are involved in trafficking cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamines, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

FBI and federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents are assisting local and state authorities in the investigation.