NewsNational News


New video shows beginning of Waco biker shootout

Posted at 5:37 PM, Dec 12, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-12 17:37:04-05

New video obtained by CNN shows one camera’s angle earlier this year on the beginning of the bloodbath among motorcycle gangs in Waco, Texas, as bikers nervously circle, attack, and ultimately fall or flee.

The May 17 showdown was one of the bloodiest days in American biker lore, ending in a shootout with police. Nine bikers died, 177 people were arrested — 106 of them have been indicted so far — and 480 weapons were confiscated, including 151 guns.

The new video marks a second round of footage obtained by CNN and shows grisly chaos. Graphic sequences depict a vicious beating, another biker with a bloodied arm, and a third rolling on the ground apparently shot.

Police and prosecutors are silenced in the case by a court gag order, and a grand jury is weighing further charges.

According to a document passed on to CNN by a source close to the case, four of the dead bikers were hit by .223-caliber bullets.

The new footage begins in front of the Twin Peaks restaurant, where an argument is taking place off-screen, and members of the allied Cossacks and Scimitars motorcycle clubs circle and huddle on-screen, looking toward what’s happening out of the view of the lens.

Off-camera, bikers from rivals Cossacks and Bandidos are arguing in the parking lot after one biker is nearly hit by a motorcycle, witnesses have said.

As to who started the parking-lot fight, police later said the rivals have pointed the finger at each other.

The new video shows the Cossacks and Scimitars allies standing watch or pacing nervously. They are all vigilant.

The video doesn’t offer audio, but it’s clear the gunfire has begun off-screen when, on-screen, the bikers bikers begin to react.

In the graphic sequence, a man in a red bandana sneaks up on another biker and appears to wrap something around his throat, taking him to the ground.

The two men wrestle.

Fortunes quickly change, however, against the attacking biker in the red bandana.

A third biker intervenes, and the man in the bandana is punched a few times and stomped at least once, with all those blows aimed at his head as he is on the ground.

He lies still on the ground as the other two bikers walk off-screen.

Meanwhile, in the foreground, one fleeing man checks his arm, where blood drips.

Another fleeing biker falls to the ground, seeking cover behind a column. He rolls slowly and appears to be shot.

The buildup and subsequent violence unfolds in a matter of minutes. In addition to the nine bikers who died, at least 18 people were injured.

In late October, CNN obtained the first footage from more than a dozen surveillance cameras that showed a chaotic scene inside the Twin Peaks restaurant as the gunfire erupted in the parking lot.

On that video, several men draw handguns. One biker runs across the patio, firing a gun wildly toward the crowd outside. Some bikers leap over a patio fence and rush toward the parking lot — and presumably into the gunfire. But nearly as many others run inside to hide in the restrooms and kitchen. They emerge under police escort, their hands held high in the air.

Also in October, CNN obtained thousands of pages of documents in the case that detailed how how the midday gunfight turned the parking lot of the Waco strip mall into a battle zone. Tension had been building for months between among motorcycle clubs, documents showed.

Police reports in those documents show the Bandidos and Cossacks had been locking horns for months over issues near and dear to any biker group — territory and respect.