A motorcycle-gang shootout in Waco, Texas, left nine people dead and 17 injured today when gangs opened fire in a restaurant and its parking lot, KWTX reports. Cops and sheriff's deputies surrounded the Twin Peaks Restaurant this afternoon after reports of shots fired, and were securing the parking lot when the bikers came outside, says police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton. The bikers allegedly fought with various weapons, including chains and knives, until gunfire broke out—both bikers firing at each other and officers firing at them. The scene devolved into "absolute chaos," says KWTX, before EMS units arrived and people were taken away to hospital. No word yet on whether diners at the restaurant were injured, notes NBC Dallas Forth-Worth.
Swanton says the Twin Peaks scene is "as secure as it can be right now," but police fear the violence may spread among other groups in and near Waco. Other reports describe a crime scene at the Waco Convention Center, but details are scant: The area has been closed as EMS units and armed officers work on the scene, according to a law enforcement spokesman. A news photographer says he saw a few men being arrested there. Police have apparently been trying to cool tempers between biker gangs at Twin Peaks for weeks, and were especially wary on Thursday nights, when the restaurant hosts Biker Night. A district attorney says two local biker gangs fought there a few weeks ago, joined by Dallas-Forth Worth gangs that came to support them. (Read more motorcycle gang stories.)