WACO, Texas – Waco police arrested 192 accused biker gang members in the shootout at a Twin Peaks restaurant that killed nine and wounded 18, authorities said Monday.
The suspects were still being booked Monday morning into the county jail here and will be charged with engaging in organized crime, police said.
The shootout between rival gang members and police came as at least five groups gathered around noon Sunday at the restaurant right off Interstate 35.
All nine men killed were members of the two main rival groups, the Bandidos and the Cossacks, police have said.
Police spokesman Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said authorities are still investigating and aren’t sure yet whether additional charges, such as murder or attempted murder, will come.
The McLennan County district attorney’s office is involved in the police investigation and has been assisting the department throughout the night, police said.
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is implementing a “summary suspension” closing Twin Peaks for at least seven days, police said.
“This is not a punitive action on TABC’s part but done due to the ongoing danger it presents to our community,” police said. “They are conducting a parallel investigation and further action may be forthcoming.”
Police are also issuing warnings that they have received “credible information about threats toward law enforcement,” Swanton said.
A photo of an internal bulletin sent to police Sunday at 10:13 p.m. reads: “Our agency has recieved (sic) information that the Cosaks and Banditos have issued an order to kill anyone in uniform.”
The photo, showing the message in a police squad car computer, was posted to the police news website GoHeroes.us.
For months, police say they tried to thwart danger by boosting security inside or having the restaurant deny service to the gangs. But police say that local managers at the restaurant refused to cooperate.
The managers disputed that claim after the shooting.
The gangs involved Sunday are well-known organized criminal enterprises, some with national affiliations, police said, that make money through drug dealings, extortion, robbery and violence.
Police had been aware for several months that gang members were gathering to address recruitment and turf, areas where the groups have clashed.
At least 10 uniformed SWAT officers from Waco and the Texas Department of Public Safety were in marked cars outside the restaurant, but no plainclothes officers were inside because they felt they weren’t welcome by restaurant managers, Swanton said.