-- A meeting between rival Texas biker gangs to settle their differences turned into a brawl that escalated to gunfire in a restaurant parking lot Sunday, leaving nine people dead, Waco police said.
Eighteen people were taken from the scene to hospitals, mostly for gunshot and stab wounds, Waco Police Sgt. Patrick Swanton said at a news conference. Everyone involved was a gang member, police said.
He said dozens of suspected gang members were detained.
Members of as many as five biker gangs gathered at the Twin Peaks Restaurant in the Central Texas Market Place early in the afternoon to discuss their differences, Swanton said.
A fistfight began and quickly escalated to include knives and firearms, and then spilled into the parking lot, where gang members fired at each other, Swanton said.
"As that fight progressed, it progressed very rapidly from hands and feet as weapons to chains," he said. "My understanding a club was involved and knives were involved."
Officers were at the scene when the shooting started, police said, and some officers fired at the bikers. No officers were injured, police said.
"This is probably one of the most gruesome crime scenes I've ever seen in my 34 years of law enforcement," Swanton said.
The people injured were mostly being treated for knife or gunshot wounds, police said.
"I was amazed that we didn't have innocent civilians killed or injured," Swanton said.