Bike Club Member on Waco, Texas, Meeting: 'I Heard Gunshots and I Ran'

"It was supposed to be a regular meeting," Snyder said.

ByEMILY SHAPIRO
May 19, 2015, 8:47 PM
PHOTO: Johnny Snyder, the vice president of Boozefighers Motorcycle club, was at Twin Peaks Sunday when the deadly brawl began.
Johnny Snyder, the vice president of Boozefighers Motorcycle club, was at Twin Peaks Sunday when the deadly brawl began.
Courtesy Johnny Snyder

— -- The vice president of a motorcycle club in Waco, Texas, says he was at Twin Peaks restaurant Sunday for a planned biker meeting on the establishment's patio when a deadly brawl broke out.

Johnny Snyder said his group -- Boozefighters Motorcycle -- was attending the quarterly meeting that's held to discuss legislative issues involving bikers' rights. Snyder didn't expect violence, he told ABC News by telephone.

"It was supposed to be a regular meeting," Snyder said.

Snyder said his club wasn't involved in the fighting, but he described seeing "fighting and people running."

"I heard gunshots and I ran," said Snyder, who is a long-haul trucker, according to The Associated Press, which previously interviewed him.

Snyder said his group had been invited to the meeting.

"That meeting is a coalition of several bike groups that were invited to come to Twin Peaks Restaurant," Waco Police Sgt. Patrick Swanton said at a news conference today. "They had rented out or asked for the outdoor bar area specifically for a meeting that they were having of a group of invited biker gangs."

"We know an additional biker gang that was not invited to this meeting showed up," Swanton added.

The violent brawl involving as many as five biker groups left nine suspected gang members dead and 170 in custody, police said. The Waco Police have not identified the gangs allegedly involved.

All nine of those killed died from gunshot wounds, according to autopsy reports, and the manner of death for each victim is homicide. The ages of those killed range from 27 to 65.

Eighteen people were taken from the scene Sunday to hospitals, mostly for gunshot and stab wounds, police said. Seven remain in the hospital today, they added.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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