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Twin Peaks Restaurant Loses Franchise Rights After Massive Biker Shootout Leaves 9 Dead

Twin Peaks Restaurant Loses Franchise Rights After Massive Biker Shootout Leaves 9 Dead

The parking lot outside the restaurant was the site of a deadly brawl that included members of at least five motorcycle gangs

Twin Peaks headquarters reacted swiftly to the news, immediately revoking the restaurant’s franchise rights

In the wake of the horrific motorcycle gang showdown that resulted in nine deaths and 18 injuries, along with 192 arrests, corporate headquarters for Twin Peaks Restaurant have decided to revoke franchise rights for the Waco, Texas location.

The restaurant had been the subject of considerable security concerns, particularly after introducing a “Bike Night” special, targeting members of local motorcycle clubs.

Although the location issued a statement on Sunday that it deplored the “criminal, violent acts that occurred” and had been in “ongoing and positive communications with the police,” Sergeant Patrick Swanton called the statement a “fabrication.”

On the contrary, Swanton said, “We have attempted to work with the local management of Twin Peaks to no avail. They have continued to allow these bikers to gather here, and this is the culmination of what has occurred.” Swanton described the scene as the most violent crime scene of his entire career.

On Monday, Twin Peaks corporate office released a statement that was immediately revoking the Waco restaurant’s franchising agreement.

“Unfortunately the management team of the franchised restaurant in Waco chose to ignore the warnings and advice from both the police and our company, and did not uphold the high security standards we have in place to ensure everyone is safe at our restaurants, Twin Peaks said in a statement.

“We cannot tolerate the actions of this relatively new franchisee and have revoked their franchise agreement effectively immediately. Our sympathies continue to be with the families of those who died and are very thankful no employees, guests, police officers or bystanders were hurt or injured.”


Inside Twin Peaks: New Details Update Timeline of Deadly Waco Biker Brawl

Security video from the Texas restaurant that was the scene of a deadly biker gang brawl over the weekend reportedly shows most of the bikers running away from the gunfire.

The footage, reviewed by The Associated Press, is said to show that when the fight broke out, some of the motorcycle riders tried to help point people to safety, and some got on the floor to crawl for cover. Only one reportedly can be seen firing a gun from the restaurant's patio.

Nine suspected gang members died and 170 were arrested, officials said. Police said most have been charged with felony engaging in organized criminal activity and are being held on $1 million bond each. They have termed the incident a capital murder case.

Security Video

Right before the shooting, the video reportedly shows the inside of the Twin Peaks restaurant mostly empty and bikers gathered on the restaurant's patio. The AP reported that it was shown the security footage Wednesday by the representatives of the Twin Peaks franchise.

At 12:24 p.m. Sunday, according to the AP, the first shots are fired and the video reportedly shows bikers, patrons and staff fleeing, running inside the restaurant. Some run into the bathroom and others go to the kitchen. At least three people reportedly were seen on the video with handguns.

The video doesn’t show the parking lot where much of the violence occurred, the AP reported. The restaurant has said the fight began outside.

Two minutes after the shooting starts, the footage shows police entering the restaurant with assault rifles. The video reportedly shows bikers on the floor with their hands spread apart.

Who Was Present?

Waco Police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton told reporters Tuesday that a “coalition of several bike groups” were invited to the restaurant.

"They had rented out or asked for the outdoor bar area specifically for a meeting that they were having of a group of invited biker gangs,” Swanton said. "We know an additional biker gang that was not invited to this meeting showed up," Swanton added. "Hence, what we were calling somewhat of a turf war, if you will.”

"When those individuals showed up, there was a disturbance in the parking lot. . We thought that was about a parking issue. We still believe that that may have been what it was," Swanton said.

The footage shows at least 20 members of the Cossacks gang on the patio, said the AP. Scimitars, Boozefighters and Leathernecks biker gang members are also said to be in the video.

The AP reports that no Bandidos members are seen on the tape, but that police say they were present.

Johnny Snyder told ABC News earlier this week that he was present on the patio, as a vice president of the Boozefighters, adding that his club wasn't involved in the brawling. He described seeing "fighting and people running."

"I heard gunshots and I ran," Snyder said, adding that his group is not a criminal gang.

Weapons in Restaurant

The Waco police Facebook page, administered by Swanton, in a post around midday Wednesday, gave the number of weapons recovered at the scene as "318 and counting." Police originally estimated 1,000 weapons were found, then dropped the number down to 500, before lowering it again.

The Facebook post said police expected the numbers to rise, and broke down the weapons found as follows:

The number adds up to be 319, but the AK-47 was found in a vehicle in the parking lot, according to police.

"The weapons appear to have been discarded as officers arrived and some hastily hidden," the Waco Police post said. “The [weapons] have been found in sacks of chips, stuffed between bags of flour, stuffed into the bench seating, hidden in shelves, thrown into trash cans, placed in the kitchen stoves, discarded on floors and even so far as to attempt to flush a handgun down a commode."

Swanton did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for further comment, and the AP reported that Swanton declined to comment about the video.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Get real-time updates as this story unfolds. To start, just "star" this story in ABC News' phone app. Download ABC News for iPhone here or ABC News for Android here.

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Waco Biker Slaughter: $1 Million Dollar Bond Judge Who Wanted to "Send a Message" Removed from One Biker's Trial

Despite such banana republic absurdities as a local police officer heading the grand jury likely responsible for any indictments related to the slaughter of motorcycle club members at a political meeting at the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas in May, one sign of procedural sanity happened this week, as reported in the Waco Tribune:

A local justice of the peace was removed Thursday from an examining trial in the case of a Hewitt biker accused of engaging in organized crime in relation to the shootout at Twin Peaks restaurant.

Joe Carroll, senior judge of the 27th Judicial District Court, granted a motion to recuse Justice of the Peace W.H. "Pete" Peterson from the case involving Matthew Clendennen after Clendennen's attorney, Clinton Broden,filed a complaint against Peterson.

Peterson set the initial $1 million bonds for the 177 bikers arrested in the aftermath of the May 17 shootout….

"I think it is important to send a message," Peterson said at the time. "We had nine people killed in our community. These people just came in, and most of them were from out of town. Very few of them were from in town."

Broden's complaint alleges Peterson's "public comments would cause persons to believe that they could not get a fair examining trial before Peterson."

In the complaint, he alleges it is unlawful to set bonds to "send a message" and that Peterson's quotes "indicate that he sets bonds out of bias against people who visit Waco."

I reported on Clendennen's suing over what he considers a false arrest back in June. Clendennen has since withdrawn that suit, though his lawyer says they intend to add defendants and start over.

As I've been noting here for a while, the government seems very inclined to not let the public (or any of the people it arrested) get any objective information about what actually happened that day. This week, Conor Friedersdorf at the Atlantic sums up the current state of things the cops are keeping under wraps.

  • When one of the arrested bikers, Matthew Clendennen, sued authorities, Waco's assistant city attorney fought to prevent him from getting access to video footage taken at the Twin Peaks restaurant, key evidence in the incident. While a judge ultimately ruled that his attorney must be allowed to see the footage, he barred its release to the public and imposed a gag order in the case.
  • The gag order was requested by McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna, who is named in Clendennen's federal civil-rights suit––and granted by District Court Judge Matt Johnson, Reyna's former law partner, according to press reports.
  • Over two months have passed since the shooting. The dead bodies have long since been examined. Yet the public still hasn't been told how many of the gunshot victims were struck by bullets fired from police weapons. (I strongly suspect that if the answer was "zero" Waco police would've said so a long time ago.)

Friedersdorf floats a very damning but plausible theory as to why, especially given that they can't expect to get away with the stonewalling forever.

If there is video or ballistics evidence suggesting that lots of innocent people were arrested without probable cause, or that police bullets killed some of the dead that day in Waco, it will be a public-relations nightmare and a huge liability for Waco and its police department. Scores of bikers could sue for six- or seven-figure sums. And prosecutors might find it much more difficult to secure indictments in the case.

But if indictments can be filed before evidence inconvenient to Waco authorities is publicly revealed, the leverage changes. A biker might be indicted for conspiracy to murder, then offered a plea deal to accept a much lesser charge, like disturbing the peace, with the understanding that time served would take care of the sentence. That would be a tempting deal to take. And pleading guilty to disturbing the peace would preclude a lawsuit for being arrested without probable cause while saving police and prosecutors from looking like they harassed innocents.

Friedersdorf is also raising the question, ignored by most legit press, about the presence and role of undercovers and confidential informants among the bikers that day.

A blog called Aging Rebel has done a lot of very interesting reporting and speculation about the event, and reports on the mystery of the five people reportedly arrested and then "unarrested" on the scene.

in ATF biker roundups, confidential informants are arrested with other suspects and then turned loose when nobody is looking…..

Since they were actually arrested, the men released in secret at dawn on May 18, were clearly not undercover agents. The Aging Rebel has been told and has reported that two members of the Cossacks Motorcycle Club took off their club insignia and put on police windbreakers and balaclavas shortly after the shooting stopped on May 17. They were probably undercover FBI or ATF agents. The Aging Rebel believes the men released on May 17 were part of an ongoing federal investigation that exploded into violence. Based on interview with numerous sources, The Aging Rebel believes the violence was instigated by federal agents, that it was unnecessary and that the blatant Waco coverup that has ensued is intended to protect federal, state and local policeman from civil and criminal liability and embarrassment.

Despite the official embargoing of video from the Twin Peaks restaurant itself, portions of on-the-scene surveillance footage from the Don Carlos restaurant across the street has been leaked, and Aging Rebel has a great close read analysis of it, which is inconclusive about any of the vital questions of who shot who and why.

Aging Rebel does think he saw a clear example of evidence being planted on the scene though:


  • WARNING GRAPHIC IMAGES
  • Surveillance video has been released of the May 17 shootout between two rival bike gangs at a Waco, Texas restaurant
  • Members of the Bandidos and the Cossacks reportedly opened fire on one another at Twin Peaks as the result of a turf war
  • Nine people were killed and 177 were arrested, though none have been charged with murder
  • Video and photos from the scene reveal police took away 12 long guns, 133 handguns and found 44 shell casings

Published: 21:28 BST, 29 October 2015 | Updated: 20:39 BST, 11 December 2015

Surveillance video taken on the day of a massive shootout inside a Texas restaurant shows the chaos as hundreds of bikers flee and some open fire.

The May 17 incident at Twin Peaks in Waco that involved two rival bike gangs left nine people dead and resulted in the arrest of 177 bikers.

Video shows some of the bikers bloody and even a few of the fatalities along with a shocking number of guns and weapons that were discovered and confiscated at the scene.

Footage from the May 17 shooting shows a member of one of the biker gangs running into the restaurant and firing his gun

A man is seen covered in blood as he flees inside during the shootout at Twin Peaks in Waco, Texas

Most men ducked for cover when the shooting began between the Bandidos and the Cossacks, but some drew their gun

Nine people were killed by the end of the shootout, eight from the Cossacks and one from the Bandidos

Prior to the shooting a large group was gathered at the outdoor patio

Police arrested 177 people after the incident but none have been charged with murder at this time

CNN obtained the video which shows the shootout between members of the Bandidos and the Cossacks.

Both groups have blamed the other for starting the incident.

Police arrived on the scene less than a minute after the violence erupted, and took away 12 long guns, 133 handguns and found 44 shell casings.

Just 12 of those casings were from members of the police department.

In total, 480 weapons were found at the restaurant and bar.

Authorities later said that despite the police presence the fighting continued among the groups when they arrived on the scene.

Eight of the bikers killed were members of the Cossacks and one was a Bandido.

All of the suspects who were arrested were initially charged with engaging in organized crime in connection to a capital murder case, and a judge ordered most to be held on a $1 million bond.

Only a few of the people arrested in the shooting remain under ankle monitoring, and none remain in jail as of earlier this month

The Waco Tribune-Herald reported that all but 22 of the 135 people originally ordered to wear ankle monitors still have them. The others have been able to amend their bonds in agreements between their lawyers and McLennan County prosecutors.

McLennan prosecutors have also not charged anyone with any of the shooting deaths.

None of the bikers who had ankle monitors committed serious violations leading to their returning to jail.

After searching the suspects and looking through the scene police found 133 handguns

Workers at Twin Peaks were seen fleeing from the shoots as they went off inside and outside the bar

The restaurant was closed immediately after the shootout and is currently for sale

A grand jury is currently underway to determine on what charged the men will be indicted

In total, 488 weapons were discovered by police after the deadly incident

Some of the men tried to dispose of their firearms quickly, including this one that ended up in a toilet

A memo sent to police by a former informant who infiltrated biker clubs suggested that the bloody battle was over territory.

'The Bandidos are the biggest motorcycle gang in Texas, and they don't allow other motorcycle gangs to enter that state,' the informant, known as Charles Falco told CNN.

'They will allow other motorcycles clubs to exist, but they're not allowed to wear that state bottom rocker. If they do, they face the onslaught of the Bandidos.

'The Cossacks decided that they were big enough now to go ahead and wear the Texas bottom rocker, and basically tell the Bandidos that they're ready for war.'

A physical fight is believed to have broken out in the restroom of the Twin Peaks Bar and Grill around 12.15pm before spilling out into the bar and rapidly escalating into an all-out fight involving chains, clubs, knives and gunfire.

In the parking lot, a SWAT team shot dead at least one biker and surrounded the rest. When the shooting ended, bodies were scattered across the tarmac and cars were riddled with bullet holes.


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More than 170 were charged with engaging in organized crime and were ordered held in lieu of $1 million bonds. Three have applied successfully after meeting the ten per cent requirement.

Police recovered more than 300 weapons including 188 handguns, an AK-47 rifle and 157 knives. Many had been discarded inside the restaurant in the toilets, kitchens and under seats and tables.

But the feud did not erupt out of the blue.

On December 12 ten Bandidos were said to have burst into Gator's Jam Inn Bar in Fort Worth and shot dead rival motorcycle club member Geoff Brady, 41, of Arlington, and wounded three others, police said.

He was a Ghost Rider, allies of the Cossacks. Three men, said by police to be Bandidos, are on $100,000 bail after being held on suspicion of that murder.

An art stuio across the street was hit by stray bullets during the shootings.

Then the Cossacks had their meeting place at Mexia, around 50 miles from Waco, burned to the ground in what is believed to have been an arson attack carried out by opponents early in the New Year.

Stand-off: In mid-March rival gangs came together at Twin Peaks but were dispersed when police threatened mass arrest, averting a brawl

Low point: The restaurant operator Jay Patel may face questioning over why police warnings were ignored. A neighboring restaurant is already suing over the bloodbath.

Violent: SWAT officers stormed into the Twin Peaks after shots were fired. Nine bikers died in all

BLOODBATH AT TWIN PEAKS: THE VICTIMS

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Manuel Issac Rodriguez, 40

And in a separate incident shortly after that Bandidos members assaulted a rival biker in Decatur, but the victim decided not to press charges.

The bad blood between the two major gangs was fueled further in mid-March after a night of unrest at Twin Peaks. Cossacks see Waco as their territory.

Police had been called there after scores of bikers from rival gangs gathered and the tension was only eased late at night when police warned them they would be arrested en masse if they did not disperse.

Police said they advised the owners of the establishment not to allow the gang members into Twin Peaks,but police said posters advertising 'biker nights' had been reported.

The restaurant operator Jay Patel may face questioning over why police warnings were ignored. A neighboring restaurant is already suing over the bloodbath.

Sources said detectives were examining the possibility of bringing charges of negligence and being an accessory to crime.

Regular bike events had been operating at the venue and police said they opposed the holding of last Sunday's quarterly meeting of the Texas Confederation of Clubs and Independents, Region 1.

The meeting was officially held to discuss issues such as bikers' rights, latest equipment and which other venues welcomed motor-cycle clubs.

But in fact it was to become a bloodbath.

Police intelligence had shown that there was likely to be trouble last Sunday as five rival gangs met at Twin Peaks.

Fourteen Waco officers and four Texas Department of Public Safety officers ringed the restaurant and responded less than a minute after violence erupted. Heavily armed back up were on the scene within minutes.

Sgt Patrick Swanton confirmed that part of the cause of the violence breaking out was a motor bike rider driving his machine over the foot of a rival.

There was also fighting inside the restaurant which spilled out onto the parking lot where nearly 200 riders had parked their bikes.


Bulletin warns Texas police of potential new threats from bikers

WACO, Texas — Texas law enforcement officials are investigating what they say are new threats against officers from biker gangs in the wake of a recent shootout in Waco.

Members of the Bandidos biker gang who are in the military “are supplying the gang with grenades and C4 explosives,” according to a bulletin issued Thursday by the Texas Department of Public Safety and reviewed by CNN.

The bulletin warns of plots targeting high-ranking law enforcement officials and their families with car bombs. The bulletin is based on unsubstantiated information from an informant who claimed to have obtained it from Bandidos and Black Widows motorcycle gang members.

The Bandidos want to retaliate against police for shooting “their brothers” as they came out of the Twin Peaks restaurant, the bulletin says.

The gang has ordered a hit against Texas troopers and other officers, according to the bulletin. Among the threats are running over officers at traffic stops and the use of grenades and Molotov cocktails and firearms.

The bulletin includes some locations as possible targets: McLennan County Jail in Waco as well as sites in Austin, El Paso, Dallas, Corpus Christi and Houston.

The Texas Department of Public Safety didn’t immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.

On Sunday, nine bikers were killed during a shootout at a Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco. Police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said Wednesday that three or four Waco officers probably opened fire but that it’s too early to tell how many of the dead bikers may have been struck by police bullets.

Swanton told CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront” after the bulletin was sent to authorities that police live with constant threats.

“Unfortunately, in our line of work, it’s something we deal with day in and day out. I would, however, like to say this, to those that are listening that are making the threats: The incident that occurred here Sunday afternoon … was an absolute tragedy,” he said. “However, those of you that were there know that we did absolutely nothing to start that. We would ask you to remember that and remind you that although you have totally different ways from us, law enforcement did not start the melee.”

He wouldn’t discuss what changes or precautions his department was taking.

More trouble?

Sheriff Ira Mercer of Palo Pinto County told CNN that he is still planning to have extra officers in Mingus even though a planned motorcycle club rally is reportedly canceled.

Mercer said he talked with officials from Waco and McLennan County.

“They are of the strong belief that trouble is not over with,” he said. “We have other intel that other bikers groups might be coming here to show us they can.”

As a precaution, he was getting an extra 30 law enforcement officers from outside agencies to set up a blockade on the roadway to the rally’s planned site beginning Friday, when the four-day event was scheduled to begin.

On Thursday, he hosted a law enforcement intelligence meeting with 70 members of federal, state, and local agencies over the possible rally.

The event was planned by the Cossacks motorcycle club, which lost seven members in the fight.

Hundreds of weapons

Police are finding more evidence and clues about what happened.

Among them: More than 300 weapons left behind. And some bikers may have stashed away even more, police said.

“These were vicious criminals that knew that they were in trouble, and they were trying to dispose of evidence,” Swanton said.

With 170 suspects in custody, authorities have a complex investigation on their hands. All the suspects face charges of engaging in organized crime, and each one has bail set at $1 million.

So far, only one person has made bail. Jeff Battey, 40, bonded out of the McLennan County jail on Wednesday, a law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation said.

How it all started

Swanton said some motorcycle groups had reserved the outdoor bar area at Twin Peaks when “an additional biker gang” showed up uninvited.

A quarrel in the parking lot soon followed, Swanton said, and it may have involved a tiff over a parking spot or someone having his foot run over.

A waitress who was there told CNN that it appeared to be a “simple fist fight.”

The woman, who didn’t want her name disclosed or her face shown out of safety fears, said almost all the bikers were on the patio outside.

“There was a little bit of yelling. Like you couldn’t hear exactly what they were saying,” the woman said. “Next thing you know you hear the first gunshot go off. … There was a lot of screaming (inside the restaurant).”

The arrest warrants for some suspects offered more details: Members of the Cossacks were in the Twin Peaks parking lot when members of the rival Bandidos biker gang arrived.

But the ruckus didn’t stop there. Swanton said there were “crime scenes inside and outside” the restaurant, including in the bathroom, dining area and around the bar.

The assailants used all sorts of weapons — brass knuckles, guns, knives and chains. And when police responded, Swanton said, some bikers turned their weapons on them.

The waitress said she and other Twin Peaks workers hid in a refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes.

Restaurant security camera footage showing Sunday’s events is now in the hands of investigators, a representative for the Waco Twin Peaks said Wednesday. The video shows that “no violence started inside the restaurant,” the franchise said.

“What happened inside the restaurant was that people sought safety inside, where they assisted each other and came to the aid of patrons, staff and management,” the statement said.

Waco police initially estimated that investigators recovered more than 1,000 weapons from the restaurant. Police revised that number Wednesday afternoon, saying their count had reached 318 weapons, including more than 100 handguns and more than 100 knives.

Who was involved?

The nine men killed in the shootout ranged in age from 27 to 65, the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences said. Some of them were fathers. All of them died of gunshot wounds.

Families went through harrowing hours when they tried to find their loved ones and weren’t sure whether they’d survived, said Rocki Hughes, whose ex-husband, Jacob Lee Rhyne, was among those killed.

“We didn’t find out and it wasn’t confirmed until my kids had already seen pictures of their dad dead on the tailgate of a truck,” she said. They recognized him, she said, because of his large beard and the tattoos of his children’s names on his forearms.

Rhyne, 39, had been a member of the Cossacks for about six months. He went to the restaurant to make peace with the Bandidos, Hughes said.

Portraying all the bikers as violent, she said, simply isn’t fair.

“He didn’t believe in guns,” she said. “He got in many fights throughout his years, but he never needed a gun to protect himself.”

So why did he join the Cossacks?

“To be a part of something, I guess,” Hughes said. “That’s a question I’m still asking. … Our kids are broken up. He was an awesome father, and just as good as a friend, and I don’t understand it either.”

Sandra Lynch, aka “Drama,” was among those arrested. A member of the Los Pirados motorcycle club, she’s married to Michael Lynch, who also was arrested.

They’re grandparents who share a love for biking — and Twin Peaks.

Their son told CNN they’re not criminals or gang members. They were at the restaurant for a monthly meeting, nothing more.

“Everyone there is not a thug. My parents are not thugs,” he said. “I think this is injustice to have so many people in jail.” He would not give his name, saying he feared police retribution.

None of the defendants has had their day in court yet. Some of their families, reached by CNN, say the high bail is ridiculous and unfair.


New information about biker gang shoot-out in Waco, Texas

Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (OMGs) are organizations whose members use their motorcycle clubs as conduits for criminal enterprises. OMGs are highly structured criminal organizations whose members engage in criminal activities such as violent crime, weapons trafficking, and drug trafficking. There are more than 300 active OMGs within the United States, ranging in size from single chapters with five or six members to hundreds of chapters with thousands of members worldwide. The Hells Angels, Mongols, Bandidos, Outlaws, and Sons of Silence pose a serious national domestic threat and conduct the majority of criminal activity linked to OMGs, especially activity relating to drug-trafficking and, more specifically, to cross-border drug smuggling. Because of their transnational scope, these OMGs are able to coordinate drug smuggling operations in partnership with major international drug-trafficking organizations (DTOs).

WACO, Texas — The biker gang members who began beating, stabbing and shooting each other in a Texas Twin Peaks restaurant knew the police were outside they just didn’t care, Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said Monday.

By the time the Sunday melee was over, at least nine people were dead, 18 were hospitalized and the arrest tally stood at 192.

For two months, police concerned with the bikers’ presence at Twin Peaks, which hosted special events for its leather-clad clientele, had patrolled outside — and not in plain clothes and unmarked cars, either.

“We wanted our presence to be known,” Swanton told reporters. “They knew we were seconds away and going to respond. That mattered not to them.”

The United Clubs of Waco billed Sunday’s event as the Texas Region 1 Confederation of Clubs and Independents meeting. Before the restaurant and surrounding parking lots became a bloody battleground, the Waco Police Department had 18 officers on the scene, including an assistant chief and tactical officers, along with four officers with the Texas Department of Public Safety, Swanton said.

An altercation in the bathroom seems to have sparked the violence. Shots were fired inside the eatery and a brawl spilled onto the patio area, before scores of men flooded the parking lot in broad daylight. Some bikers were beaten with brass knuckles, clubs and chains, while others were stabbed or shot, Swanton said.

When police responded — within 30 to 45 seconds because of their proximity — the bikers turned their weapons on law enforcement, he said.

“Our officers took fire and responded appropriately, returning fire,” the sergeant said.

As police rounded up suspects and paramedics tended to the injured, investigators found eight bodies — three in the parking lot behind Twin Peaks, four near the front of the restaurant and one that had been dragged behind a nearby establishment, Swanton said. More than 100 weapons were confiscated as well, he said.

Another victim died at a hospital, where doctors treated patients for gunshots, stab wounds, blunt-force trauma or some combination of the three.

According to a law enforcement source, preliminary information indicates that four of the bikers killed were killed by police gunfire. The investigation continues and the ballistics will be analyzed to determine for certain who was responsible for each shooting.

A capital murder case

Swanton called it “the most violent and gruesome scene that I have dealt with” in three and a half decades of law enforcement.

The scores of suspects, who hail from five different biker gangs, remained locked up in the McLellan County Jail on Monday facing charges of engaging in organized crime, Swanton said.

Prosecutors and investigators could level other charges — and capital murder charges are expected to be among them, given the body count — but the organized crime charge is “pretty serious,” he said.

“It doesn’t get much more significant than that,” he said.

Swanton would not release the names of the gangs involved. Photos from the scene showed bikers wearing the insignias of the Cossacks, Bandidos, Scimitars and Vaqueros, but it was not clear if the photographed gang members were involved in the fighting.

While the U.S. Justice Department characterizes the Bandidos as a “growing criminal threat” with at least 2,000 members in 14 countries, the motorcycle club’s website highlights noncriminal endeavors such as its Easter party in Germany or its toy drive in France.

The Justice Department had no such synopsis for the Cossacks, but the book “The One Percenter Encyclopedia: The World of Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs from Abyss Ghosts to Zombies Elite” says they were founded in Texas in 1969 and have a major presence in Australia.

Bandidos President Jack Lewis was released on $125,000 bond in December 2013 after being charged with the stabbing of two Cossacks outside a restaurant in Abilene, Texas, KTXS reported.

As Swanton briefed reporters at the crime scene Monday afternoon, 24 hours after the brawl, he said tactical units remained on the scene to protect journalists and investigators. Police hoped to finish processing the scene by sundown, he said.

Franchise revoked

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission shut down the Twin Peaks location, known for “bike nights” and its risque dress code for servers, for the next week. It wasn’t a punitive measure, Swanton said rather, it was closed because there’s “enough of a reason to believe that more violence would occur there, had they been allowed to remain open for the next seven-day period,” he said.

Later Monday morning, the commission said it was suspending the restaurant’s liquor license for those seven days while its agents investigate what happened. The investigation could yield anything from a fine to the permanent revocation of Twin Peaks’ liquor license, commission spokesman Chris Porter said.

There have been no previous complaints or actions taken against the eatery, he added.

Twin Peaks’ corporate management initially issued a statement offering condolences but later sided with police, who Swanton said had warned the restaurant’s managers of the potential for violence and sought their cooperation in staving it off, to no avail.

“We are in the people business and the safety of the employees and guests in our restaurants is priority one,” the restaurant chain’s statement read. “Unfortunately the management team of the franchised restaurant in Waco chose to ignore the warnings and advice from both the police and our company, and did not uphold the high security standards we have in place to ensure everyone is safe at our restaurants.”

It further said the corporate office would be “revoking their franchise agreement immediately. Our sympathies continue to be with the families of those who died and are very thankful no employees, guests, police officers or bystanders were hurt or injured. ”

The Waco restaurant’s Facebook account, which had been a landing page for harsh criticism of the franchise, was deleted shortly thereafter.

Trouble brewing?

Earlier this month, McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna told KWTX-TV that local police were on heightened alert for possible trouble on Thursday nights, when Twin Peaks hosted bike nights. Reyna said trouble between two local motorcycle gangs heated up when bikers from the Dallas-Fort Worth area got involved.

Swanton slammed Twin Peaks after the bloodshed Sunday, saying the franchise failed to help avoid trouble and ignored the police department’s advice to try to keep biker gangs away from the restaurant.

“Are we frustrated? Sure, because we feel like there may have been more that could have been done by a business to prevent this,” Swanton said.

He said Twin Peaks has a right to deny entry to known biker gangs.

“They absolutely have a right to refuse service to people that may be a harm to their patrons and employees,” he told KTVT. “They didn’t do that, and today is the ultimate aftermath of what their decision was.”

Before word came of the franchise being revoked, Jay Patel, operating partner at the Waco Twin Peaks, said his staff was cooperating with police.

“We are horrified by the criminal, violent acts that occurred outside of our Waco restaurant today,” Patel said Sunday night on Facebook. “We share in the community’s trauma.”

Swanton later responded, calling that statement a “fabrication.”

Even after the chaos subsided, Waco police continued arresting people arriving at the scene with weapons.

Swanton warned other biker gang members against coming to Waco to reignite the violence.

“We have been getting reports throughout the day that bikers from out of state are headed this way,” he told KTVT on Sunday. “We would encourage them not to, because we have plenty of space in our county jail to put them there.”


Days after biker shootout, signs of a deeper dispute emerge

Law enforcement officers take a break from an investigation near their command post near Twin Peaks restaurant Tuesday, May 19, 2015, in Waco, Texas. 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 Tuesday. One man was injured when a vehicle struck his foot. That caused a dispute that continued inside the restaurant, where fighting and then shooting began, before spilling back outside, Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said. The shootout left nine people dead injured 18 wounded. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP)

Rod Aydelotte/Associated Press Show More Show Less

3 of 51 Law enforcement officers use a dog to search parked cars located in part of the Central Texas Marketplace Tuesday, May 19, 2015, in Waco, Texas. 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 Tuesday. One man was injured when a vehicle struck his foot. That caused a dispute that continued inside the restaurant, where fighting and then shooting began, before spilling back outside, Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said. The shootout left nine people dead injured 18 wounded. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP) Rod Aydelotte/Associated Press Show More Show Less

4 of 51 Law enforcement officers take a break from an investigation near their command post near Twin Peaks restaurant Tuesday, May 19, 2015, in Waco, Texas. 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 Tuesday. One man was injured when a vehicle struck his foot. That caused a dispute that continued inside the restaurant, where fighting and then shooting began, before spilling back outside, Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said. The shootout left nine people dead injured 18 wounded. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP) Rod Aydelotte/Associated Press Show More Show Less

5 of 51 Law enforcement officer uses a dog to search parked cars located in part of the Central Texas Marketplace Tuesday, May 19, 2015, in Waco, Texas. 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 Tuesday. One man was injured when a vehicle struck his foot. That caused a dispute that continued inside the restaurant, where fighting and then shooting began, before spilling back outside, Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said. The shootout left nine people dead injured 18 wounded. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP) Rod Aydelotte/Associated Press Show More Show Less

6 of 51 Authorities search a vacant lot near the Twin Peaks restaurant Monday, May 18, 2015, in Waco, Texas. About 170 members of rival motorcycle gangs were charged with engaging in organized crime Monday, a day after a shootout at a Twin Peaks killed nine people and wounded 18. (AP Photo, Jerry Larson) Jerry Larson/Associated Press Show More Show Less

7 of 51 An armed guard stands outside McLennan County Jail on Monday, May 18, 2015, in Waco, Texas. Nine were killed Sunday and over a dozen injured in a motorcycle gang related shooting at a Twin Peaks restaurant. About 170 gang members charged with engaging in organized crime are each being held on a $1 million bond. (AP Photo/John L. Mone) John L. Mone/Associated Press Show More Show Less

8 of 51 Law enforcement continue to investigate the motorcycle gang related shooting at the Twin Peaks restaurant, Monday, May 18, 2015, in Waco, Texas, where nine were killed Sunday and over a dozen injured. About 170 gang members charged with engaging in organized crime are each being held on a $1 million bond and authorities say charges of capital murder are expected in the wake of the Central Texas shooting. (AP Photo/Jerry Larson) Jerry Larson/Associated Press Show More Show Less

9 of 51 Law enforcement officials stand at the scene of a motorcycle gang shootout the Twin Peaks restaurant May 18, 2015 in Waco, Texas. A shootout between rival biker gangs began in the afternoon May 17, led to nine dead, many injured and 170 arrested. Erich Schlegel/Getty Images Show More Show Less

10 of 51 Waco Police Sgt. Patrick Swanton addresses the media as law enforcement continues to investigate the motorcycle gang related shooting at the Twin Peaks restaurant, Monday, May 18, 2015, in Waco, Texas, where nine were killed Sunday and over a dozen injured. About 170 gang members charged with engaging in organized crime are each being held on a $1 million bond and authorities say charges of capital murder are expected in the wake of the Central Texas shooting. (AP Photo, Jerry Larson) Jerry Larson/Associated Press Show More Show Less

11 of 51 Waco Police Sgt. Patrick Swanton addresses the media as law enforcement continues to investigate the motorcycle gang related shooting at the Twin Peaks restaurant, Monday, May 18, 2015, in Waco, Texas, where nine were killed Sunday and over a dozen injured. About 170 gang members charged with engaging in organized crime are each being held on a $1 million bond and authorities say charges of capital murder are expected in the wake of the Central Texas shooting. (AP Photo, Jerry Larson) Jerry Larson/Associated Press Show More Show Less

12 of 51 Law enforcement officers investigate a shooting in the parking lot of the Twin Peaks Restaurant Sunday, May 17, 2015, in Waco, Texas. Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton told KWTX-TV there were “multiple victims” after gunfire erupted between rival biker gangs at the restaurant. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune Herald via AP) Rod Aydelotte/Associated Press Show More Show Less

13 of 51 Bikers congregate against a wall while authorities investigate a Twin Peaks restaurant Sunday, May 17, 2015, in Waco, Texas. Waco Police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton told KWTX-TV there were "multiple victims" after gunfire erupted between rival biker gangs at the restaurant. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP) Rod Aydelotte/Associated Press Show More Show Less

14 of 51 Authorities investigate a shooting in the parking lot of the Twin Peaks restaurant Sunday, May 17, 2015, in Waco, Texas. Authorities say that the shootout victims were members of rival biker gangs that had gathered for a meeting. (AP Photo/Jerry Larson) Jerry Larson/Associated Press Show More Show Less

Law enforcement officers talk to a man near the parking lot of a Twin Peaks Restaurant Sunday, May 17, 2015, in Waco, Texas, after a shooting involving rival biker gangs. Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton told KWTX-TV there were “multiple victims” after gunfire erupted between the gang members. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune Herald via AP)

Rod Aydelotte/Associated Press Show More Show Less

People stand as officers investigate a shooting in the parking lot of the Twin Peaks restaurant Sunday, May 17, 2015, in Waco, Texas. Authorities say that the shootout victims were members of rival biker gangs that had gathered for a meeting. (AP Photo/Jerry Larson)

Jerry Larson/Associated Press Show More Show Less

17 of 51 Authorities investigate a shooting in the parking lot of the Twin Peaks restaurant Sunday, May 17, 2015, in Waco, Texas. Authorities say that the shootout victims were members of rival biker gangs that had gathered for a meeting. (AP Photo/Jerry Larson) Jerry Larson/Associated Press Show More Show Less

18 of 51 Bikers wait in a line as law enforcement officers investigate the parking lot of a Twin Peaks restaurant Sunday, May 17, 2015, in Waco, Texas. Waco Police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton told KWTX-TV there were "multiple victims" after gunfire erupted between rival biker gangs at the restaurant. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP) Rod Aydelotte/Associated Press Show More Show Less

19 of 51 Emergency responders tend to a wounded person near a Twin Peaks restaurant Sunday, May 17, 2015, in Waco, Texas. Waco Police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton told KWTX-TV there were "multiple victims" after gunfire erupted between rival biker gangs at the restaurant. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP) Rod Aydelotte/Associated Press Show More Show Less

20 of 51 Law enforcement continue to investigate the motorcycle gang related shooting at the Twin Peaks restaurant, Monday, May 18, 2015, in Waco, Texas, where 9 were killed Sunday and over a dozen injured. Waco police on Monday announced the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission closed Twin Peaks for a week amid safety concerns. (AP Photo, Jerry Larson) Jerry Larson/Associated Press Show More Show Less

21 of 51 Law enforcement continue to investigate the motorcycle gang related shooting at the Twin Peaks restaurant, Monday, May 18, 2015, in Waco, Texas, where 9 were killed Sunday and over a dozen injured. Waco police on Monday announced the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission closed Twin Peaks for a week amid safety concerns. (AP Photo, Jerry Larson) Jerry Larson/Associated Press Show More Show Less

22 of 51 Law enforcement continue to investigate the motorcycle gang related shooting at the Twin Peaks restaurant, Monday, May 18, 2015, in Waco, Texas, where 9 were killed Sunday and over a dozen injured. Waco police on Monday announced the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission closed Twin Peaks for a week amid safety concerns. (AP Photo, Jerry Larson) Jerry Larson/Associated Press Show More Show Less

23 of 51 Law enforcement continue to investigate the motorcycle gang related shooting at the Twin Peaks restaurant, Monday, May 18, 2015, in Waco, Texas, where 9 were killed Sunday and over a dozen injured. Waco police on Monday announced the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission closed Twin Peaks for a week amid safety concerns. (AP Photo, Jerry Larson) Jerry Larson/Associated Press Show More Show Less

24 of 51 A McLennan County deputy stands guard near a group of bikers outside the Twin Peaks Restaurant. Rod Aydelotte/MBO Show More Show Less

25 of 51 Authorities said hundreds of members of at least five rival motorcycle gangs met at the Twin Peaks Restaurant in Waco before a fight escalated in the parking lot that left nine dead and sent at least 18 to the hospital. Jerry Larson/FRE Show More Show Less

26 of 51 Law enforcement officials stands at the scene of a motorcycle gang shootout the Twin Peaks restaurant May 18, 2015 in Waco, Texas. A shootout between rival biker gangs began in the afternoon May 17, led to nine dead, many injured and 170 arrested. Erich Schlegel/Getty Images Show More Show Less

27 of 51 The Twin Peaks restaurant, the scene of a motorcycle gang shootout, is seen May 18, 2015 in Waco, Texas. A shootout between rival biker gangs began in the afternoon May 17, led to nine dead, many injured and 170 arrested. Erich Schlegel/Getty Images Show More Show Less

28 of 51 The Twin Peaks restaurant, the scene of a motorcycle gang shootout, is seen May 18, 2015 in Waco, Texas. A shootout between rival biker gangs began in the afternoon May 17, led to nine dead, many injured and 170 arrested. Erich Schlegel/Getty Images Show More Show Less

29 of 51 Law enforcement officials sit at the scene of a motorcycle gang shootout the Twin Peaks restaurant May 18, 2015 in Waco, Texas. A shootout between rival biker gangs began in the afternoon May 17, led to nine dead, many injured and 170 arrested. Erich Schlegel/Getty Images Show More Show Less

30 of 51 Law enforcement officials stands at the scene of a motorcycle gang shootout the Twin Peaks restaurant May 18, 2015 in Waco, Texas. A shootout between rival biker gangs began in the afternoon May 17, led to nine dead, many injured and 170 arrested. Erich Schlegel/Getty Images Show More Show Less

31 of 51 A McLennan County deputy stands guard near a group of bikers in the parking lot of a Twin Peaks restaurant Sunday, May 17, 2015, in Waco, Texas. Waco Police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton told KWTX-TV there were "multiple victims" after gunfire erupted between rival biker gangs at the restaurant. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP) Rod Aydelotte/Associated Press Show More Show Less

32 of 51 Authorities investigate a shooting in the parking lot of the Twin Peaks restaurant Sunday, May 17, 2015, in Waco, Texas. Authorities say that the shootout victims were members of rival biker gangs that had gathered for a meeting. (AP Photo/Jerry Larson) Jerry Larson/Associated Press Show More Show Less

33 of 51 Authorities investigate a shooting in the parking lot of the Twin Peaks restaurant Sunday, May 17, 2015, in Waco, Texas. Authorities say that the shootout victims were members of rival biker gangs that had gathered for a meeting. (AP Photo/Jerry Larson) Jerry Larson/Associated Press Show More Show Less

34 of 51 Authorities investigate a scene near a Twin Peaks restaurant Sunday, May 17, 2015, in Waco, Texas. Waco Police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton told KWTX-TV there were "multiple victims" after gunfire erupted between rival biker gangs at the restaurant. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP) Rod Aydelotte/Associated Press Show More Show Less

35 of 51 People at the Central Texas MarketPlace watch a crime scene near the parking lot of a Twin Peaks restaurant Sunday, May 17, 2015, in Waco, Texas. Waco Police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton told KWTX-TV there were "multiple victims" after gunfire erupted between rival biker gangs at the restaurant. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP) Rod Aydelotte/Associated Press Show More Show Less

36 of 51 Authorities block an access road as an investigation continues near a Twin Peaks restaurant Sunday, May 17, 2015, in Waco, Texas. Waco Police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton told KWTX-TV there were "multiple victims" after gunfire erupted between rival biker gangs at the restaurant. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP) Rod Aydelotte/Associated Press Show More Show Less

37 of 51 Bikers wait in a line as law enforcement officers investigate the parking lot near a Twin Peaks restaurant Sunday, May 17, 2015, in Waco, Texas. Waco Police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton told KWTX-TV there were "multiple victims" after gunfire erupted between rival biker gangs at the restaurant. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP) Rod Aydelotte/Associated Press Show More Show Less

38 of 51 Law enforcement officers investigate the parking lot of a Twin Peaks restaurant Sunday, May 17, 2015, in Waco, Texas. Waco Police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton told KWTX-TV there were "multiple victims" after gunfire erupted between rival biker gangs at the restaurant. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP) Rod Aydelotte/Associated Press Show More Show Less

39 of 51 Authorities investigate a shooting in the parking lot of the Twin Peaks restaurant Sunday, May 17, 2015, in Waco, Texas. Authorities say that the shootout victims were members of rival biker gangs that had gathered for a meeting. (AP Photo/Jerry Larson) Jerry Larson/Associated Press Show More Show Less

40 of 51 Law enforcement officers investigate the parking lot of a Twin Peaks restaurant Sunday, May 17, 2015, in Waco, Texas. Waco Police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton told KWTX-TV there were "multiple victims" after gunfire erupted between rival biker gangs at the restaurant. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP) Rod Aydelotte/Associated Press Show More Show Less

41 of 51 A law enforcement officer walks past debris near the parking lot of a Twin Peaks restaurant Sunday, May 17, 2015, in Waco, Texas. Waco Police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton told KWTX-TV there were "multiple victims" after gunfire erupted between rival biker gangs at the restaurant. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP) Rod Aydelotte/Associated Press Show More Show Less

42 of 51 People leave a restaurant next to a Twin Peaks restaurant Sunday, May 17, 2015, in Waco, Texas. Waco Police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton told KWTX-TV there were "multiple victims" after gunfire erupted between rival biker gangs near the restaurants. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP) Rod Aydelotte/Associated Press Show More Show Less

43 of 51 Bikers wait on a hill near the parking lot of a Twin Peaks restaurant Sunday, May 17, 2015, in Waco, Texas. Waco Police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton told KWTX-TV there were "multiple victims" after gunfire erupted between rival biker gangs at the restaurant. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP) Rod Aydelotte/Associated Press Show More Show Less

44 of 51 Police detain and watch members of various motorcycle clubs near a Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas, Sunday, May 17, 2015. A shootout among rival motorcycle gangs at the popular Texas restaurant left nine bikers dead and more than a dozen injured, a police spokesman said Sunday. (AP Photo/John L. Mone) John L. Mone/Associated Press Show More Show Less

45 of 51 Authorities investigate a shooting in the parking lot of the Twin Peaks restaurant Sunday, May 17, 2015, in Waco, Texas. Authorities say that the shootout victims were members of rival biker gangs that had gathered for a meeting. (AP Photo/Jerry Larson) Jerry Larson/Associated Press Show More Show Less

46 of 51 Police detain and watch members of various motorcycle clubs outside the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas, Sunday, May 17, 2015. A shootout among rival motorcycle gangs at a popular Texas restaurant left nine bikers dead and more than a dozen injured, a police spokesman said Sunday. (AP Photo/John L. Mone) John L. Mone/Associated Press Show More Show Less

47 of 51 Authorities investigate a shooting in the parking lot of the Twin Peaks restaurant Sunday, May 17, 2015, in Waco, Texas. Authorities say that the shootout victims were members of rival biker gangs that had gathered for a meeting. (AP Photo/Jerry Larson) Jerry Larson/Associated Press Show More Show Less

48 of 51 Authorities investigate a shooting near the Twin Peaks restaurant Sunday, May 17, 2015, in Waco, Texas. Authorities say that the shootout victims were members of rival biker gangs that had gathered for a meeting. (AP Photo/Jerry Larson) Jerry Larson/Associated Press Show More Show Less

49 of 51 Authorities investigate a shooting near the Twin Peaks restaurant Sunday, May 17, 2015, in Waco, Texas. Authorities say that the shootout victims were members of rival biker gangs that had gathered for a meeting. (AP Photo/Jerry Larson) Jerry Larson/Associated Press Show More Show Less

50 of 51 Waco Police Sgt. Patrick Swanton addresses the media as law enforcement continues to investigate the motorcycle gang related shooting at the Twin Peaks restaurant, Monday, May 18, 2015, in Waco, Texas, where nine were killed Sunday and over a dozen injured. About 170 gang members charged with engaging in organized crime are each being held on a $1 million bond and authorities say charges of capital murder are expected in the wake of the Central Texas shooting. (AP Photo, Jerry Larson) Jerry Larson/Associated Press Show More Show Less

51 of 51 Waco Police Sgt. Patrick Swanton addresses the media as law enforcement continues to investigate the motorcycle gang related shooting at the Twin Peaks restaurant, Monday, May 18, 2015, in Waco, Texas, where nine were killed Sunday and over a dozen injured. About 170 gang members charged with engaging in organized crime are each being held on a $1 million bond and authorities say charges of capital murder are expected in the wake of the Central Texas shooting. (AP Photo, Jerry Larson) Jerry Larson/Associated Press Show More Show Less

WACO - Maybe it started with a sidelong glance, a stolen parking space, a puff of cigarette smoke blown the wrong direction. Maybe it started in the bathroom or the parking lot. The police may never know for sure.

But the 15-minute shootout that left nine outlaw biker gang members dead outside a bar here last weekend marked a new chapter in a slow war dating back decades, investigators and law enforcement experts said Tuesday.

Ferocious as it was, spilling blood across an asphalt lot where officers exchanged fire with some unknown number of shooters among the several hundred bikers assembled for unclear business, the gunfight seemed to settle precisely nothing.

"Stand down, let things calm down," Sgt. Patrick Swanton, a spokesman for the police in this college town between Dallas and Austin, pleaded Tuesday. "Is this over? Most likely not. We would ask that there be some type of truce between whatever motorcycle gangs are involved."

Among the gangs identifiable in photographs from the scene by their distinctive insignias, the Bandidos hold the most power in the state. Founded in Texas half a century ago, they have long controlled statewide markets for drugs, prostitution and extortion, turning to violence when necessary to keep out their rivals. Their motto proclaims, "Better to live on your feet than die on your knees."


Gas Monkey Bar files $6M defamation suit against founder and TV star Richard Rawlings

5:22 PM on Jun 15, 2018 CDT

Updated at 8:50 p.m. Friday: Revised to include statement from Richard Rawlings' attorney.

The popular Dallas restaurant and music venue Gas Monkey Bar N' Grill is suing its founder, Richard Rawlings, for defamation and "deliberate and deceitful attempts" to get out of his contract, according to a lawsuit.

The lawsuit, which is seeking $6 million in damages, was filed Thursday on behalf of the bar and its managing member, Daniel Flaherty, against Rawlings, the production company for his Discovery Channel reality car show Fast N' Loud, and Gas Monkey Holdings.

Rawlings' lawyer said in a statement that the claim does not have merit.

"Gas Monkey Bar has been in breach of our license agreement since Day 1, we've tried to resolve these issues for the past five years, we terminated the relationship when it became clear they were unwilling and incapable of fulfilling their contractual obligations, and it's obvious that this is nothing more than a fabricated claim as a last-ditch effort to try to get back the license," said Austin Champion, the attorney representing Rawlings.

The production company Pilgrim Films and Television, and the attorneys representing the northwest Dallas bar and Flaherty could not be reached for comment.

Problems with Rawlings began before the bar near his Gas Monkey Garage even opened for business five years ago, the lawsuit says.

During its construction, bar employee Tim Hinkhouse wrote in a May 2013 email, "Richard has been extremely disruptive . His treatment of the construction workers was beyond unacceptable . His behavior is that of a spoiled 13 year old," according to the lawsuit.

After several instances of Rawlings interrupting and halting construction, the lawsuit says, Flaherty banned him from the construction site so the job could be completed.

Since the bar and music venue's opening in September 2013, "Rawlings has consistently tried to insert himself into their operations and usurp control" from Flaherty, according to the suit.

The lawsuit also alleges Rawlings has been slanderous about the bar and made "baseless accusations" that Flaherty, who lives in Coppell, was stealing from him.

In 2015, Rawlings wrote an email to Flaherty about incomplete or missing financial records, the suit says. Flaherty responded by telling Rawlings he was welcome to sit down and look at the records himself, but Rawlings said he didn't think the records existed.

The suit says that Rawlings made defamatory statements about Flaherty and the bar to other people and that Flaherty confronted Rawlings about it in an email he sent July 21, 2016, that said: "You were slamming me about being dishonest and stealing from you . As I have told you for the last 2 years you are welcome to audit the books at any time."

Rawlings sent a reply that said, "My mistake for mixing drinking and emotions. Sorry for that," according to the suit.

When a third-party buyer was about to finalize a deal to obtain the rights to Gas Monkey Bar N' Grill and Gas Monkey Live in 2017, the lawsuit says Rawlings accused Flaherty and the bar of dishonesty and stealing his money, which caused the agreement to fall through.

This transpired after Rawlings tried to buy the rights to the bar and music venue himself in 2016 but was unable to because of insufficient funds, the suit says.

The lawsuit also alleges Rawlings and Pilgrim Films and Television are considering opening their own Gas Monkey-themed entertainment venue in Connecticut and are "misappropriating" the bar's restaurant concept in doing so.


Bill and Joe Smith

Joe and Bill Smith of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding were found dead on Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019. The twins were just 32 years old and reportedly died by suicide via hanging, The Sun reported. Their cousin, Phoebe Charleen Smith, told The Telegraph that the young men formed a suicide pact after Joe was diagnosed with cancer. "Joey had cancer, and Billy told him, 'I'd never be able to live without you.' Joey told the family he got the all-clear after chemo two months ago, but we don't know if that's true now," she said.

She added that the men "went missing" and that Joey's phone was turned off. Eventually the family found a note from the men saying "they wanted it like this, and we would find them in the woods where they played with the family years ago." Their uncle discovered their bodies in a forest near their grandmother's home.

The Smiths were members of a Romani family featured in My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding in 2013. They'd recently established a landscaping business. Just weeks before their tragic deaths they were seen on a video at a wedding appearing cheerful, singing and dancing. A source told The Telegraph, "The boys seemed happy to everyone that saw them. The closer family were concerned that they were battling depression, but they were very good at hiding it. They were happy-go-lucky, but it shows you cannot always see what hides behind a smile. The family knew they were not right, but never ever expected them to do this."

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.


Watch the video: The Untold Truth Of Twin Peaks Restaurants (October 2021).