FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) Evidence from prosecutors shows that state and local law enforcement had overwhelming intelligence of impending violence at a May, 2015 showdown between rival biker gangs in Waco, Texas, and did little to prevent the meeting taking place, The Associated Press reported Wednesday.
A trove of documents provided to The Associated Press also shows that a state police agent who spoke to the Twin Peaks restaurant owner three days before nine bikers died in the shootout, did not report any request to cancel the event.
While state and local authorities deliberately arrived at the restaurant in force, a federal official closely involved in biker prosecutions says their investigators did not know about the meeting or imminent violence.
The official requested anonymity because the trial of the first of the bikers indicted in the deadly shootout began this week.
“Obviously there are those in the media who are looking at a single event with hindsight being 20-20,” Waco police Sgt. Patrick Swanton said Wednesday.
“We believe the story will come out at the proper time, which is during the court trials.”
The May 17, 2015 shootout left nine bikers dead and 20 more injured.
Fourteen Waco police officers including an assistant chief and several sergeants and four Department of Public Safety troopers were positioned around the restaurant in anticipation of problems stemming from a meeting of a coalition of several biker groups.
Ballistics reports show four of the bikers were killed by shots from .223-caliber rifles, the only type of weapon fired by police during the melee.
Two had wounds from only that kind of rifle; the other two were also struck by shots fired from other guns.
The five other bikers who were killed only had wounds from other guns.
In September 2016, a McLennan County grand jury cleared three Waco officers involved in the shooting.