Some 170 people have been charged with engaging in organized crime in the wake of a chaotic shoot-out between rival biker gangs on Sunday at a Waco, Texas, restaurant that left nine people dead.
Waco police spokesman Patrick Swanton said Monday that those charged were among more than 190 arrested over the shooting, which he described as a "capital murder event."
Swanton said eight people were killed at the scene of the fight, while another person died in the hospital. All of those killed were bikers, he said.
At least 18 others were injured in the "hectic" scenes, which Swanton described as one of the "worst gunfights we have ever had" in the city.
The fight broke out just after noon Sunday inside a bathroom at the Twin Peaks restaurant in the busy Central Texas MarketPlace.
The escalating fight then spilled into the bar and parking lot, as rival bikers began to battle using chains, clubs, knives, and then firearms.
"This is the worst crime scene — the most violent crime scene — I've ever been involved in," Swanton said of his 34 years with the force. "There is blood everywhere."
Police recovered "probably" 100 weapons from the scene of the gunfight and officers arrested three armed men near the scene, Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper D.L. Wilson told KWTX-TV.
At least 12 police officers, as well as SWAT teams, were on the scene prior to the fighting, anticipating violence due to "intelligence" investigators had gathered.
"We were in marked cars. They knew we were here," he said. "That tells you the kind of level of people that we're dealing with."
Members of the biker gangs, shooting at one another, turned their fire on arriving police officers, Swanton said. Officers returned fire, possibly killing some of the suspects.
Swanton said bodies and weapons were scattered throughout the parking lot, describing the scene as "very active."
The Waco police spokesman warned that authorities feared gangs might try to carry out "revenge" attacks, saying the parking lot was not safe for the public.
On Facebook, local police also warned members of the public to stay away from the area.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said its officers were also on scene of the shooting.
Swanton said restaurant management had "frustrated" police by permitting the biker gangs to be on the premises, despite warnings from authorities of the potential for violence.
Management at Twin Peaks restaurant "knew this was occurring and allowed this to continue," Swanton said.
Twin Peaks, a national restaurant chain, released a statement on Sunday evening condemning the violence.
A spokesperson for the national chain, Rick Van Warner, told the New York Times the company was “seriously considering revoking the franchise based on this situation.”
Swanton said numerous people had been detained to provide investigators with information.
"It is amazing that innocent civilians were not injured," he said, praising the presence of police on scene for saving lives.
"There was a tremendous response by law enforcement personnel and medical personnel to get to a very hectic, active, and dangerous scene," he said.