All charges related to 2015 deadly Waco biker shootout dropped

Credit: Erich Schlegel

Credit: Erich Schlegel

All charges have been dropped related to a 2015 shootout between rival biker gangs at a Waco, Texas, restaurant that left nine people dead and 20 injured.

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McLennan County District Attorney Barry Johnson said Tuesday he will dismiss the remaining 24 criminal cases to "end this nightmare that we have been dealing with in this county since May 17, 2015," the Waco Tribune-Herald reported.

Johnson, who took office on Jan. 1, said that to continue prosecuting the case would be a “waste of time, effort and resources."

The shooting happened in May 2015, when about 200 members of rival motorcycle clubs -- the Bandidos and the Cossacks -- met at a Waco Twin Peaks restaurant to settle a territorial dispute, The Washington Post reported.

Before long, fights and gunfire broke out. Waco police officers who were monitoring the gathering added to the shots fired. Nine people died, making it the deadliest biker shootout in U.S. history, according to the Post.

Nearly everyone at the scene -- 177 people -- was arrested. Of those, 155 were charged with criminal activity.

Former District Attorney Abel Reyna ultimately dropped charges against all but 24 and re-indicted them on riot charges, NBC News reported. Those were the cases that came to an end Tuesday.

Only one person was tried for the shootout: Jacob Carrizal, the Bandidos Dallas County chapter president. His trial ended in a mistrial, with most jurors favoring acquittal, the Tribune-Herald reported.

“In my opinion, had this action been taken in a timely manner, it would have, and should have, resulted in numerous convictions and prison sentences against many of those who participated in the Twin Peaks brawl. Over the next three years the prior district attorney failed to take that action, for reasons that I do not know to this day,” Johnson said.

Reyna issued a statement Tuesday saying he disagrees with Johnson’s decision.

“I absolutely disagree with the overall result as well as several statements and accusations within Mr. Johnson’s press release,” Reyna said. “However, it is solely his decision on how to proceed with any case in the district attorney’s office. I respect the fact that the voters of McLennan County chose Mr. Johnson to make these types of decisions.”

While the criminal cases will be dismissed, more than 100 bikers have filed civil rights lawsuits alleging McLennan County, the city and others violated the plaintiffs' civil rights by arresting them without probable cause after the shooting, NBC News reported.

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