- Members of two biker gangs charged over the deaths of nine bikers in a 2015 shootout have had all charges against them dropped.
- Rival members of the Bandidos and Cossacks gangs opened fire at Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas, on May 17 after peace talks turned sour.
- Police initially charged more than 150 bikers with organised crime offences, who were released not long after. Now, almost four years later, all outstanding charges are dropped.
- One person went to court in 2017, but the case ended in a mistrial.
- McLennan County District Attorney Barry Johnson said on Tuesday that continuing with prosecutions would be a “waste of time, effort and resources.”
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more.
None of the people charged with participating in the deadliest biker gang shootout in US history will be punished, or even tried, after prosecutors declared pursuing the cases “a waste of time.”
Nine people were killed and at least 20 injured on May 17, 2015, when rival biker gangs the Bandidos and Cossacks opened fire at each other outside the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas.
Since then, McLennan County District prosecutors charged more than 150 people accused of being involved. But, almost four years on, nobody has been convicted for the shooting, and prosecutors gave up trying.
County District Attorney Barry Johnson released a statement on Tuesday in which he said keeping on with the case would be “waste of time, effort and resources,” the Associated Press reported.
“In my opinion, had this action been taken in a timely manner, it would have, and should have, resulted in numerous convictions and prison sentences against many of those who participated in the Twin Peaks brawl,” he said.
“Over the next three years the prior district attorney failed to take that action, for reasons that I do not know to this day.”
The two biker gangs met on a Sunday in May 2015 to discuss a potential truce, under the watchful surveillance of 16 Texan police officers and an 11-strong SWAT team.
But negotiations went south, with gunfire and fist-fights breaking out in the parking lot. All of it was captured on security tape.
Tensions were high because the Cossacks were refusing to pay the Bandidos a fee for operating in Texas, and for stitching a patch onto their jackets which said Texas was theirs, the Texas Department of Public Safety said in 2015.
Police arrested 177 bikers after the carnage had subsided and charged 155 of them with engaging in organised criminal activity.
Police later said they had found over 300 weapons in the Twin Peaks kitchen area, and some hidden in sacks of flour and potato chips
This dash cam video shows the meeting unfolding, and the shootout starting. Police then arrive and bikers flee the scene.
Nearly four years after the shootout, prosecutors had still not secured convictions any of the 25 bikers who had outstanding charges against them. Now, no one will be held formally responsible for the nine deaths.
Only one of the 25 cases made it to court – that of Jake Carrizal, president of the Dallas Bandidos motorcycle club. That case ended in a mistrial.
More than 100 of the bikers are currently involved in ongoing civil rights lawsuits, which they brought against the police for allegedly arresting them without probable cause.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.