More details begin to emerge about the shooting at Waco’s Twin Peaks restaurant. Remember:
…The Truth Has No Agenda – Nor does It Care For The Feelings, Position, or Emotion of Those Made Uncomfortable By It…
It would be obtuse not to accept that as witnesses and family members of the dead begin to share their story/version of events publicly, the responding police would have a vested interest in countering any adverse aspect to the previous outline they presented.
Hence the shock headline:
Waco police sergeant W. Patrick Swanton told KWTX today that the weapons included both pocket and “assault-style” knives, and lots and lots of guns, all “evidently abandoned by bikers as they attempted to flee.” One weapon was stashed in a bag of chips. (link)
It is commonplace with officer-involved shootings to pull in another agency to conduct the investigation, but Waco PD spokesperson Patrick Swanton said that won’t happen with Sunday’s case. As a consequence there is a tremendous amount of potential for ‘responsibility shifting’ within this story.
As we try to avoid the hype from either sides’ version, and focus specifically on the known variables the following should be asserted:
It is not a mutually exclusive argument for elements within the bike clubs to be known criminals, violent, defined as a gang, and/or unlawful. Simultaneously it is entirely possible for the police to have overreacted in response to a perceived threat. The former advocated by the police, the latter advocated by the families and friends of the club members.
With 9 dead bodies, and with 18 additionally wounded, it is quite reasonable to see how the police could be concerned if the forensics indicate most, or all, of the deceased are a result of police response. Therefore, while the police should be granted the benefit of doubt – simultaneously a “grain of salt” filter should be applied liberally to shock headlines (such as above).
Given the overall national tone and discussion toward excessive use of force by police agencies; the law enforcement community wants/needs the public to see their response as necessary and without alternative. Conversely, the motorcycle club community does not want the police ‘broad brush tendency’ to paint them as violent gang members. Both groups carry a vested interest.
That said, as we have previously outlined, the “tone” of the narrative from law enforcement reflects their concern to be seen as the “good guys”.
As the bike club version begins to surface, and directly challenges the police version, we can expect to see disagreement.
However, the bike club version begins at a disadvantage because the police version is essentially embedded in the media narrative.
The number of armed law enforcement officers on scene – prior to event gathering – has now increased to 22+ including: 10 Members of SWAT, 1 Asst Police Chief, 2 Sargent’s and 1 rookie officer, from Waco PD; the rest from Waco County and Texas DPS.
It is reported, but not yet confirmed, that all of the deceased were killed by police. Autopsy records show that all nine died of gunshot wounds, no stabbing wounds or “other”:
◾Jesus Delgado Rodriguez, 65, died of gunshot wounds of the head and trunk.
◾Jacob Lee Rhyne, 39, died of gunshot wounds to the neck.
◾Richard Vincent Kirshner, Jr., 47, died of gunshot wounds but the report did not specify where he was shot.
◾Richard Matthew Jordan, III, 31, died of gunshot wounds to the head.
◾Wayne Lee Campbell, 43, died of gunshot wounds to the head and trunk.
◾Daniel Raymond Boyett, 44, died of gunshot wounds to the head.
◾Matthew Mark Smith, 27, died of gunshot wounds to the trunk
◾Manuel Issac Rodriguez, 40, died of gunshot wounds but the report did not specify where he was shot.
◾And Charles Wayne Russell, 46, died of gunshot wounds to the chest.
Eight of the deceased are claimed to be members of the “Cossacks” club. One of the dead is claimed to be a “Bandido” member.
The initial claim by Waco Police Spokesperson Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton about a “fight in the bathroom” appears to have been supposition based on blood found in the bathroom after the shooting:
Officials also found a bloody scene in a restaurant bathroom (link)
Nothing more, nothing less. Nothing indicates a “fight in the bathroom”.
Most witness explanations now center around the initial impetus for the confrontation was caused by the arrival of the Cossacks Club who were not anticipated to attend.
[…] Eyewitnesses say the uninvited group was the Cossacks, who were not supposed be part of the quarterly meeting of the Texas Confederation of Clubs and Independents that was scheduled for 1 p.m. on the restaurant’s patio. (link)
There are numerous evidence markers all over the parking lot, including some near the bodies. In the image below (contribution) you can see some of the scene shots with red arrows showing the markers. (click any image to enlarge)
It appears they are using two different size markers. The larger markers are on the edge of the scene and smaller markers are on the parking lot. Some of those evidence markers should be identifying shell casings.
Supposition from a contributor:
“.. […] I don’t believe the Waco Swat Team was involved in the shooting itself, but had arrived at the end of the shooting. My suspicion is that the actual shootout involved uniformed officers who were stationed close by monitoring the event and not the swat team. I believe the swat team and their armored vehicle may have been staged nearby, out of sight so as not to alarm regular citizens who were at the mall shopping or eating lunch.
It would have been bad for business to have the armored vehicle and swat officers in full kit running around in plain view. The few photos I’ve seen of the armored vehicle’s placement at the scene tends to back up my belief. It also appears that the swat team provided over watch during the crime scene investigation. I believe the arrival of the armored vehicle and additional officers may have been what ended the violence.
We should also remember that this incident was an “all hands of on deck” kind of incident. I suspect numerous off-duty officers responded to the scene to help. Some were at the mall others responded from home. The bearded officer wearing the body armor and carrying the AR-15 was probably one such officer. I can not see an “agent provocateur” remaining on the scene to be photographed. It makes no sense.
Also, in the photograph in the Daily Mail’s article that displays some of the weapons recovered,
I see at least three AK variants and what appears to be two AR-15 on the table. It would appear that at least some of the bikers came ready for trouble. I do not believe that the weapons that may have been used by the bikers that had been shot, would have been in that display. Those weapons are evidence and would have been handled as such.
FWIW Back in the day, biker gangs would have vans or pickup trucks following them on runs. Some of the support vehicles were for hauling broken down bikes, others were for carrying the gangs heavy weapons”.
San Antonio police and the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement confirmed that 62-year-old Martin Lewis worked for the department for more than 30 years before retiring in 2004.
Lewis was among about 170 people arrested in Waco and charged with engaging in organized crime.
Each person is being held on a $1 million bond. (link)