[ Subject Matter: Motorcycle Gangs, Gun Battle, Texas
Recommendation: No prior subject matter knowledge required]
Updated 19/May/15 with lowdown on the gangs involved
|Carnage outside Twin Peak Restaurant, Waco, Texas|
No less than 9 people died and 18 were injured in a shootout between two rival motorcycle gangs in Waco, Texas, inform the police.
The shootout occurred a little after midday in the Automobile park of the Twin Peaks restaurant and sports bar and grill in the commercial area of Central Texas market place, signalled the Waco Police Department on social media.
The motorcyclists confronted each other first with baseball bats and knives and later with firearms turning the place into a battlefield, explained Sergeant Patrick Swanson to KWTX, affiliate of CBS.
The Police officials that arrived at the crime scene, asked civilians to stay well clear and avoid the area.
Swanton confirmed the number of victims and said that the altercation started inside the establishment around 12:15 and extended to the automobile park that Twin Peaks shares with the Restaurant Don Carlos. He also added that "in 34 years of law enforcement, this is the worst crime scene - the most violent crime scene I have attended, there are dead people still here and blood everywhere, we expect to confiscate upwards of 100 weapons".
According to the authorities, the gangs started to fight with fists and feet, but that escalated quickly to chains, knives, bats and sticks and ultimately firearms.
One witness told the Waco Tribune-Herald that there were thirty people shooting at each other at one point.
Officials said the motive to open fire was to put an end to the confrontation, said Sergeant Swanton
Many innocent could have been hurt as a result of today. These gangs of criminal motorcyclists are very hostile and dangerous, said Swanton in justification of the actions of the Police. The bikers as well as shooting at each other, shot at the arriving Police who returned fire, but no officers were hurt.
Clients in the restaurants took cover behind freezers to protect themselves from the shots, said Canal Television.
According to Univision, the owners of Twin Peaks know the rival gangs, but still allow the access, said Swanton.
After the shootout, the two restaurants closed and Police took various people into custody, and took witness statements.
While Police issued no information on the names of the gangs involved, patches were seen representing, The Bandidos, Cossacks and Scimitars.
See video report from ABC in English
Original article in Spanish at Proceso
More information from BBC.co.uk
Who are the gangs who lost members in the shoot-out?
Police in Texas have described a gang shootout, which killed nine people, as one of the worst gun fights ever in the city of Waco.
Officers say 192 people face organised crime charges after rival biker groups clashed at a sports bar and grill.
One witness quoted by the Waco Tribune-Herald said the car park of the restaurant resembled "a war zone".
All nine of those killed are thought to be members of the Bandido or Cossack gangs.
There's already at least one documented instance of violence between the two groups.
In November 2013, a 46-year-old from Abilene, who police say was the leader of a West Texas Bandidos chapter, was charged over the stabbings of two members of the Cossacks.
In a 2014 gang threat assessment, the Texas Department of Public Safety classified the Bandidos as a Tier 2 threat, the second highest.
Other groups in that tier included the Bloods, Crips and Aryan Brotherhood of Texas.
So who are those biker gangs?
Slogan: "We are the people your parents warned you about." Members also wear patches with phrases like "Expect No Mercy".
Origins: Formed in Texas in 1966 by Don Chambers, who served as a marine in Vietnam.
Logo: A chubby Mexican bandit, wearing a sombrero hat, pointing a gun and holding a sword. The character's based on an old logo for a brand of tortilla chips.
The gold and red colours were chosen because of Chambers' link to the marines.
Members also wear the "1%er" logo.
The group's Swedish website describes a "One Percenter" as the "one of hundred of us who has given up on society and politicians one-way-laws".
"This is why we may look repulsive (to you). We're saying we don't want to be like you or look like you. So stay out of our face."
The Bandido code: "You don't lie, you don't steal and you don't take a brother's woman.
Location: The group's thought to have 2,400 members in 210 branches. It's concentrated in Texas, but has members in many US states, mainly in the south - making it one of America's biggest gangs.
Members are also active in Canada and Australia, with chapters in 19 other countries including Thailand, Singapore, Germany, Denmark, France. The group also claims to have a small following in the UK.
Initiation: It takes about two years to become a fully patched Bandido. You need to know an existing member and go through a probation period and pay around £350.
Members have to wear patches visible from 150 feet away.
Known criminal activity: The Bandidos have a long and violent history of crime, with the FBI calling them one of the countries five most significant outlaw motorcycle gangs.
Members have been arrested for offences ranging from assault and racketeering, to possession of drugs and illegal weapons and murder.
In 2009, six Canadian members were jailed for life for murdering eight fellow Bandidos in an "internal cleansing" in Ontario.
But one former high ranking leader is quoted as saying that while some members engage in criminal activity, the clubs as a whole don't condone or encourage it.
Edward Winterhalder ("Connecticut Ed") claims 90% of members are "regular working guys with regular jobs and families or older guys living on pensions".
But he concedes Bandidos can be dangerous.
Rivals: The group has had a long-running, violent rivalry with the Hells Angels, among others.
A turf war between the two, lasting from 1993 to 1997, known as the "Great Nordic Biker War" resulted in 11 murders, 74 attempted murders and 96 injuries.
Supporters: The Bandidos also have a number of "support" clubs, used to help with legal and illegal activities. They usually wear reverse colours (gold border with red background).
They also often wear a unique patch known as the "Heart Patch".
Slogan: "We take care of our own."
Origins: Founded three years after the Bandidos in Texas (1969). It's not clear who they were set up by or how they came about, but it's been claimed the group may have sprung out of the Bandidos.
Logo: An angry-looking, muscley Cossack brandishing a sword at his own face with his lizard like tongue out. Their colours are gold and black.
The Cossacks code: The Cossacks claim they traded in the horses used by warriors 400 years ago for motorbikes - although they doubt their members descended from actual Russian Cossacks.
Location: This is a much smaller group than the Bandidos but it's claimed the Cossacks have factions in Australia as well as southern states of America.
Supporters: During the Waco shootout, the Cossacks seem to have been supported by a third biker gang, the Scimitars.
Original article in English at bbc.co.uk