A police spokesman said Monday that at least 170 people are being charged in the shootout between biker gangs at a shopping center in Waco, Texas Sunday that left nine bikers dead and 18 injured. Waco Police Sgt. Patrick Swanton stated that the shooting is now considered a capital murder case because of the number of people killed in one incident.
The suspects were still being booked Monday into the McLennan County Jail, and they will be charged with engaging in organized crime. The gang members were to appear in front of two justices of the peace, who were going to set bail at $1 million each, according to McLennan booking advisor Sue Tweedle.
Authorities said that the fight was mainly between Cossacks and Bandidos gangs, according to the New York Times. There has been a long-running feud between the two gangs. However, three other gangs were involved this time.
A dispute between the gang members began in a shopping center bathroom and eventually grew to include guns and knives, as reported by Chicago Tribune. Then it moved to a restaurant parking lot.
Operators of the restaurant and police were aware that the meeting was happening and at least 12 Waco officers and state troopers were outside of the building. Officers reportedly shot bikers.
It is still unclear whether the police officers shot any of the nine bikers that died. The names of the deceased have not been released.
Swanton said that he was “amazed” there were no civilians injured or killed. He added that knives, bodies, blood and bullet casings were scattered across the floor inside the restaurant.
Twin Peaks, the restaurant which features waitresses in revealing uniforms, will be closed for an investigation by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission for the remainder of the week. Swanton said that the operating partner of the Waco franchise, Jay Patel, did not cooperate with police regarding concerns with the gangs.
Patel stated that his management teams were having “positive communications” with them. However, Swanton called that statement a “fabrication.”
Along with the restaurant, Swanton said that parts of the shopping plaza will be closed for the week as part of the investigation of the Waco shooting.