Nine people were killed on Sunday when a simmering feud among rival biker gangs boiled over at a sports bar in Waco, Texas, resulting in gunfire and a full-blown rumble in the parking lot, police said.
The battle took place at Twin Peaks Sports Bar and Grill in a shopping mall in the central Texas city, Waco police said. In addition to the fatalities, several people were injured.
The fight, which involved members of at least three gangs, erupted shortly after noon and quickly escalated into a full brawl with clubs, knives, and chains, Waco Sgt. Patrick Swanton said.
When the bikers began shooting, officers moved in, some of them also discharging their weapons, the spokesman said in a televised press conference. When the shooting ended, bodies were scattered across two parking lots.
“These are very dangerous hostile biker gangs,” Swanton said. “A lot of innocent people could have been injured today.”
There would likely have been more casualties, Swanton said, but police were on the scene when the fight erupted, anticipating “issues” with what he called “criminal” gangs.
Eight people were killed at the scene and one died at an area hospital, Swanton said. All of the fatalities were bikers, and no officers were hurt.
The spokesman could not say if any of the casualties were the result of police gunfire.
It was unclear if any of the injured were not affiliated with the biker gangs.
Swanton said police were frustrated with the management of Twin Peaks, a chain restaurant that features scantily clad female servers. He said police had warned the bar that there might be trouble.
Managers of the bar could not be reached immediately for comment, nor could a representative of the parent company in Dallas.