Thursday, August 20, 2015

2015 Waco Shootout

On May 17, 2015, in Waco, Texas, a shootout erupted at a Twin Peaks restaurant where members of several motorcycle clubs, including the Bandidos, Cossacks, and allies, had gathered for a regularly scheduled meeting.

Police, including a SWAT team, had gathered to monitor them from outside, and opened fire on the bikers after the shootout started. Nine bikers were killed, seven of them members of the Cossacks motorcycle club, while eighteen others were injured. In a June 5 bail reduction hearing, prosecutor Michael Jarrett said videotape of the shootout shows "Bandidos executing Cossacks, and Cossacks executing Bandidos".
An eyewitness who claimed to be the president of a North Texas Cossacks chapter reported that the Cossacks had been invited to the meeting by a leader of the Bandidos, in order to make peace between the clubs. According to this witness, the Cossacks arrived first and were on the restaurant patio. He said that when approximately 100 Bandidos arrived, one of their motorcycles struck a Cossacks member in the parking lot, knocking him down. According to this source, a brief fistfight between a Cossack and a Bandido ended when the Bandido fatally shot the man in the head. Within seconds, two other Cossacks were shot and killed.
An element of the dispute had to do with the right of Texas outlaw motorcycle clubs to wear colors, jackets decorated with distinctive patches, including a geographic bottom rocker saying "Texas", indicating Texas as the territory of the club. The dominant Bandidos claimed the right to approve all such jacket bottom rocker patches.
Nine men died of gunshot wounds and police recovered about 320 weapons from the crime scene. 192 people were initially arrested in connection with the shootout with 171 of those charged with participation in organized crime.