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Deadly Waco shootout started when someone ran over biker's foot

Nine people were killed in the brawl and 170 people have since been charged.

Source: Jerry Larson/AP/PA

A DEADLY WEEKEND shootout involving rival motorcycle gangs apparently began with a parking dispute and someone running over a gang member’s foot, police said today.

Waco police Sergeant Patrick Swanton said an uninvited group appeared for the meeting of a loose confederation of biker gangs Sunday at a restaurant.

One man was injured when a vehicle rolled over his foot. That caused a dispute that continued inside the restaurant, where fighting and then shooting began, before the melee spilled back outside, Swanton said.

Authorities offered few details. It was not clear which gang was responsible for running over the biker’s foot, or which gang the aggrieved biker belonged to.

When the shootout was over, nine people were dead and 18 wounded.

About 50 weapons were confiscated, mostly knives and firearms, and Swanton said more than 100 weapons may be found once authorities are done analysing the crime scene at the Twin Peaks restaurant.

Preliminary autopsy results showed all nine of the dead were killed by gunshots. Many were hit in the head, neck, chest or torso. Most of the men were in their 40s, but they ranged in age from 27 to 65, according to reports released by a McLennan County justice of the peace.

Police have acknowledged firing on armed bikers, but it was unclear how many of the dead were shot by gang members and how many were shot by officers.

Of the injured, seven remain hospitalised. Swanton, who has been virtually the sole source of law enforcement information on the fight, described their conditions as stable.

He said the investigation is being hampered by witnesses who “are not being honest with us.”

Police are concerned that the brawl will invite retaliation and more violence, Swanton said.

Waco Shooting Waco Police Sergeant. Patrick Swanton addresses the media. Source: Associated Press

“We would encourage them to try to be a little peaceful and let the bloodshed stop,” he said.

Authorities warned weeks ago of growing animosity between rival motorcycle gangs, a feud that erupted into violence at the restaurant, which had drawn a large lunchtime crowd to a busy Waco shopping complex along Interstate 35.

In a memo dated May 1, the Texas Department of Public Safety cautioned authorities about increasing violence between the Bandidos and the Cossacks, Dallas TV station WFAA reported Monday.

McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara has said all nine of those killed were part of those two groups. About 170 bikers have been charged with engaging in organised crime. Swanton said more arrests are likely.

Waco Shooting This combination of booking photos provided by the McLennan County Sheriff's office shows people arrested during the motorcycle gang related shooting. Source: McLennan County Sheriff's Office/AP

McLennan County Justice of the Peace WH Peterson set bond at $1 million for each suspect. He defended the high amount, citing the violence that quickly unfolded in a shopping market busy with a lunchtime crowd.

Read: Police charge 170 after ‘gruesome’ shootout between biker gangs>

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Associated Press

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