Shootout video leaked: Waco Biker Shootout
Published: October 30, 2015
Shootout video leaked: Waco Biker Shootout, After the guns fell silent on May 17 — one of the bloodiest afternoons in the history of American motorcycle clubs — nine bikers lay dead in a strip mall parking lot littered with weapons.
Many more were injured, bleeding from gunshots and knife wounds. A police officer asked what every other cop there must have wondered at that moment: How many of you are armed?
“I asked anybody who had a gun to raise their hand,” Waco Officer Ryan Holt wrote in a police report obtained by CNN.
Nearly everybody did.
As Holt and his fellow officers disarmed the injured bikers, so many guns piled up on the ground that they literally got in the way. SWAT team officers drove a pickup truck to the crime scene “so we could pile the firearms in the bed to try to keep suspects from moving over the top of them,” Holt noted in his report.
In all, police recovered 480 weapons: 151 guns, along with assorted knives, brass knuckles, batons, hammers, and the bikers’ blunt objects of choice — padlocks wrapped in bandanas.
Some 177 bikers were arrested — so many that they were taken to the Waco Convention Center and held for processing in separate rooms: one for members of the club known as the Bandidos and the other for their rivals, the Cossacks. All were jailed on $1 million bail each and charged with engaging in organized crime activity.
More than five months later, no one has been charged in the deaths of the nine bikers. Police and prosecutors are silenced by a gag order; a grand jury is weighing charges in the case.
After the shootout, 177 people were arrested.
But against a backdrop of official silence, CNN has obtained thousands of pages of documents — including police intelligence reports, crime scene photos and witness interviews — as well as surveillance video. These begin to tell the story of how a midday gunfight turned the parking lot of a Waco strip mall into a battle zone.
They also show that tension had been building for months between the two motorcycle clubs.
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