About 170 members of rival motorcycle gangs have been charged with engaging in organised crime following a shootout at a Texas restaurant in which nine people were killed and 18 injured.
The crowd of suspects was so large that authorities opened a convention centre to hold them all before they were arrested.
Sunday’s melee at the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco drew a broad police response that included placing officers on top of buildings and highway overpasses to watch for other bikers rushing to the scene to retaliate.
Waco Police Sergeant Patrick Swanton said authorities had received threats from biker groups “throughout the night” after the shooting and that authorities stood ready to confront any more violence. He said the threat of retaliation remained high.
McLennan County Justice of the Peace WH Peterson set bond at $1m for each suspect. He defended the high amount, citing the violence that quickly unfolded in a shopping market busy with a lunchtime crowd.
“We have nine people dead, because these people wanted to come down and what? Drink? Party?” he said. “I thought it was appropriate.”
Peterson also performed inquests on the nine dead bikers but declined to identify them pending notification of family. He said all nine were from Texas.
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