WACO, Texas (KWTX) About 40 bikers and supporters gathered early Thursday afternoon on the steps of the McLennan County Courthouse to mark the third anniversary of the deadly shootout between rival gangs and police at Waco’s Twin Peaks restaurant.
On May 17, 2015, a fight that started in a restroom at the restaurant led to a brawl involving five rival biker gangs.
Shots were fired inside the restaurant and then the fight spilled into the parking lot where the gunfire continued.
Eighteen Waco police officers and four DPS troopers were positioned outside because of intelligence that indicated there could be trouble at the restaurant and they responded within 30 seconds and as they did, bikers began to fire on them.
When it was over, nine bikers from two of the five gangs were dead and 20 others were wounded.
No officers, customers or bystanders were injured.
Police formed a perimeter and rounded up the uninjured bikers, who were taken to the Waco Convention Center, which was also under heavy security, for processing.
Officers released some of them, but after McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna arrived, that stopped.
Ultimately 177 bikers were arrested, charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, and ordered held in lieu of $1 million bonds.
The mass arrest and boilerplate complaints produced an almost immediate backlash from various groups that claimed that local authorities were guilty of over-reach.