At least 170 suspects representing five different gangs have been arrested for engaging in organized crime in the wake of Sunday’s deadly shootout between rival bikers and police in Waco, Texas, The L.A. Times reports.
“We still have 100 people waiting to be booked,” a McLennan County jail employee told the paper. “It’s going to be very slow going.”
Authorities say it’s currently unclear how many of the nine bikers killed in the gun battle were shot by police, who returned fire after brawling gang members began shooting at them. From The New York Times:
The police had anticipated trouble and were out in force before the confrontation. “There were multiple people on the scene firing weapons at each other,” [police spokesperson Patrick] Swanton said. “They then turned on our officers. Our officers returned gunfire, wounding and possibly killing several.”
Law enforcement officials said the gun battle was primarily between the Bandidos and Cossacks, though members of the Scimitars, who are affiliated with the Cossacks, and two other groups were also involved. It remained unclear what had caused the first fight in the restaurant that led to a larger fight in the parking lot.
On Monday, the Texas Joint Crime Information Center issued a memo to law enforcement warning that gang members of both biker clubs “reportedly have been instructed to arm themselves with weapons and travel to north Texas.”
“We have been getting reports throughout the day that bikers from out of state are headed this way,” a police spokesperson told reporters yesterday. “We would encourage them not to, because we have plenty of space in our county jail to put them there.”
[Image via CNN]