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Officials say probe into deadliest biker shootout in US history would be 'waste of time' as charges dropped

A total of 177 bikers were arrested after the shooting.

McLennan County District Attorney Barry Johnson
McLennan County District Attorney Barry Johnson
Image: Rod Aydelotte/Associated Press

ALL CHARGES IN an investigation into a shootout between rival biker gangs that left nine people dead at a restaurant in Waco, Texas will be dropped.

Prosecutors in the US state confirmed the news yesterday, saying there would be no convictions in relation to the deadliest biker shooting in US history.

McLennan County District Attorney Barry Johnson said any further effort to prosecute the case would be a “waste of time, effort and resources”.

“In my opinion, had this action been taken in a timely manner, it would have, and should have, resulted in numerous convictions and prison sentences against many of those who participated in the Twin Peaks brawl,” Johnson said.

“Over the next three years the prior district attorney failed to take that action, for reasons that I do not know to this day.”

The shooting outside the restaurant on 17 May, 2015, which involved two rival biker gangs happened as bikers from various groups were gathering to talk, before fights and gunfire broke out.

Waco police officers monitoring the gathering also fired on the bikers, killing at least two people.

Surveillance footage showed many bikers running from the scene and ducking for cover after gunshots rang out.

A smaller number could be seen pointing and firing weapons, slinging chains or participating in fistfights.

Law enforcement officers recovered dozens of firearms, knives and other weapons from the restaurant and an adjacent parking lot.

A total of 177 bikers were arrested after the shooting, then charged 155 of them with engaging in organised criminal activity. Many were held on a $1 million bond.

Former District Attorney Abel Reyna ultimately dropped charges against all but 24 and re-indicted them on riot charges. However, those charges came to an end on Tuesday.

“It’s a travesty that so many people were rounded up and then investigated, instead of vice versa,” Mark Snodgrass, president of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, said on Tuesday.

“A lot of these people’s lives were put on hold for four years.”

In a statement, Reyna said he disagreed with the overall result, but acknowledged it was the decision of prosecutors on how to proceed with their cases.

With reporting from Associated Press.

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