Waco tattoo shop wrongfully targeted in drive-by that left two injured

They expected their normal Friday rush but this was far from any normal Friday night
Published: Apr. 10, 2023 at 11:59 AM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A Waco tattoo shop is trying to navigate business as usual less than a week after finding itself at the center of a drive-by shooting.

Surveillance video captures the moment those shots crossed into the Top Secret Tattoo shop in the 5200 block of Sanger Avenue, causing an immediate panic.

Owner Billy Gamble told KWTX he can’t watch the video anymore, counting 25-plus bullet holes inside his shop.

“They shot all the lights. Countless bullet holes throughout the whole shop. There’s a bullet hole right here,” he said as he pointed to the damage those gunshots caused.

The 25-plus bullets hit walls, knocked out lights, and even struck one of the shop’s employees.

“I had an employee sitting on the same couch where I’m sitting right now and she received shrapnel in her ankle, her hip and her back she was treated that night at the hospital,” Billy Gamble said.

His brother, Jim Gamble, was sitting at the front desk when the rounds began entering the shop.

“It all broke loose, everything, bullets flying, I could hear things shattering, alarms going off, lights got knocked out,” Jim Gamble recalled.

“This is where my brother was sitting, right here behind the desk,” Billy Gamble pointed out as he showed the damage. “Here’s a bullet hole right here. We have multiple bullet holes here and here, even behind pictures.”

The tattoo brothers believe attendees at a birthday party next door were the original target.

“They started popping balloons, so we literally walked next door to make sure. We knew what the sound was and they were balloons,” Billy said. “Less than 10 minutes later they weren’t balloons anymore, they were gunshot fires.”

The shop wants to reiterate they played no part in the shooting. Just that they just got caught in the crossfire, taking most of the damage.

“For it to be 100% nothing to do with us. It makes it even worse we were just trying to live our lives,” Jim Gamble said.

When officers arrived at the strip mall, they learned a suspect - or suspects - pulled up in a car and started firing rounds at two other individuals who eventually returned fire, police said.

Along with the tattoo shop employee who was hit, one person involved in the shooting was hit, police said.

Thankful that nobody was killed in this reckless shooting, Billy and his team are already looking to move the business to a safer part of town, eyeing downtown Waco.

Waco PD is investigating the matter and asks anyone with information to contact crime stoppers.