Nearly 72 hours after a shootout erupted at Twin Peaks, killing nine people and injuring another 18, officials have found 318 weapons tucked into kitchen areas, vehicles and toilets — a lower estimate than was released early Wednesday morning.
Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton initially said that number reached up to 1,000. Police later revised that number downward, and Swanton said officials actually have counted 118 handguns, one AK-47 rifle and 157 knives. Not counted are the batons, brass knuckles and chains, and Swanton said he does expect the number of weapons to rise.
“The earlier estimate was an attempt to give me a count and it was initially believed the number was higher than we now know,” Swanton said. “We stand corrected.”
Weapons were hidden between sacks of flour and bags of tortilla chips, Swanton said. They were in vehicles, tucked in benches, strewn across the floor, in kitchen stoves, thrown into trashcans and stuffed in toilets, he said. The AK-47 was found in a vehicle in the parking lot, Swanton said.
He said he thinks the majority of those weapons were “hastily” hidden or discarded during or after the melee. Among the weapons and blood spatters were half-eaten burgers, beer bottles covered in gang-symbol koozies and half-drunk margaritas.
The description of the disarray inside the restaurant seems to fit with an Associated Press account of what security video from inside Twin Peaks shows.
The video shows dozens of motorcycle riders running inside to seek cover and trying to guide others to safety as the gunfire erupts, according to the AP.
The video suggests that Sunday’s deadly gunfight began outside the Twin Peaks restaurant, except for one round fired by a biker on the patio who then ran inside.
On the patio, which had been reserved for a regional Texas Confederation of Clubs & Independents meeting, bikers ducked under tables and tried to get inside. At least three people were holding handguns. One biker was seen running with blood on his face, hands and torso.
Before the shooting, the inside of the restaurant appears to be mostly empty. Bikers and other patrons can be seen walking to the windows facing the parking lot where most of the shooting happened.
Representatives of the Twin Peaks franchise showed the video to the AP on Wednesday, but did not release it to the AP, other media outlets, or the public.
A statement released by the Twin Peaks franchisee late Wednesday also claimed the violence was primarily limited to the outside of the restaurant, though police have noted that a good amount of blood was found inside, particularly in the bathroom.
The statement reads, in part: “Based on restaurant security camera video footage, what happened inside the restaurant was that people sought safety inside, where they assisted each other and came to the aid of patrons, staff and management. In addition, based on the same footage, no violence started inside the restaurant.”
Regardless, Swanton said the sheer volume of weapons found at the scene is indicative of the violent intent of at least some of the attendees at Sunday’s biker meeting.
“It goes to show the criminal intent,” Swanton said. “(It) indicates to the public that these are not clubs, these are criminal gangs that came here with the intent or anticipation of violence.”
Because of the volume and complexity of the scene, Swanton said the restaurant and its parking lot will likely remain a crime scene until next week.
“We’re not in a hurry to finish this scene,” he said.
Swanton added that the 135 motorcycles and 80 cars and trucks have all been removed from the area. Some of those are still considered evidence, and others were seized in civil forfeiture.
“People interested in getting their property back need to contact the Waco Police Department and make arrangements,” he said.