Texas police seek gang truce, end of bloodshed after deadly brawl
Updated: 2015-05-20 09:23
RESERVATIONS FOR A BLOODBATH
A motorcycle is seen on a wrecker before it is removed from the Twin Peaks restaurant, where nine members of a motorcycle gang were shot and killed, in Waco, Texas May 19, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]
A coalition of bikers rented out a patio of Twin Peaks, known for scantily clad waitresses serving mugs of beer, for a Sunday meeting that turned sour when a rival gang showed up, police said.
A dispute over a parking space or a gang member's foot being may have sparked the brawl that ended with a gunfight between bikers and nearly two dozen police who had taken positions outside the restaurant in anticipation of violence.
Among the gangs involved in the shooting were the Bandidos, which the US Justice Department says has between 2,000 to 2,500 members in the United States and 13 other countries. It is one of the biggest motorcycle gangs and a rival to the better-known Hells Angels.
The Bandidos have been battling with a rival gang, the Cossacks, for control in the state, which has been seen as Bandidos territory, an expert on outlaw motorcycle gangs said.
"The Bandidos... think they own Texas," said police officer Steve Cook, who heads the Midwest Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Investigators Association.
"They say 'This is our territory and this is it' and that's the way they leave it," he said.