WACO — A shootout among rival motorcycle gangs at a popular Central Texas restaurant left nine bikers dead and 18 injured, and it sent panicked patrons and bystanders fleeing for safety, a police spokesman said Sunday. The violence erupted shortly after noon at a busy Waco shopping center along Interstate 35 that draws a large lunchtime crowd. Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said eight people died at the scene of the shooting at Twin Peaks restaurant and another person died at a hospital.
The nine killed were all members of biker gangs, he said, as were the 18 people who were taken to hospitals with injuries that include stab and gunshot wounds. “This is probably one of the most gruesome crime scenes I’ve ever seen in my 34 years of law enforcement,” Swanton said. Dozens of motorcycles were parked in a nearby lot Sunday. Bodies were found in the parking lot of Twin Peaks and in another adjacent lot for a family restaurant. At least 100 people were detained, Swanton said late Sunday night.