When the shooting started four weeks ago today outside the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, alongside Interstate 35, few could imagine that nine people would be killed and 18 wounded within minutes, and that dozens would remain locked up in the McClennan County jail, held under a million dollars bond each.
Waco Police Chief Brent Stroman has gone on the record with the Associated Press, during a Friday afternoon news briefing, adding details to the narrative of what happened on May 17th.
Stroman insists that only 16 of his officers were on the scene, or staged nearby, and that only three officers discharged their weapons. He also said that the officers’ rifles were in semi-automatic mode, firing a single shot with each trigger pull, and not in full automatic like a machine gun.
“We did not fire indiscriminately into the crowd. Our officers were restrained. They were courageous in what they did,” Stroman said during a news conference Friday in Waco.
“We don’t know if any of the shots from the officers struck or killed any of the bikers,” he added.
The Medical Examiner has not yet released autopsy results on those killed, which could identify the caliber and type of firearm used.
Storman said that 151 firearms were recovered, along with 32 shell casings from the pistols, and 10 other shell casings from rifles used by police. Police media officer Steve Anderson told the Associated Press this total does not include casings from the suspects’ revolvers, as revolver casings must be manually ejected.
“As we get into examining all of the weapons, we may find even more empty shell casings, to show there were more than 32 rounds fired by suspects,” Anderson predicted.
Investigators have used a metal detector to find casings, and say that more than 100 other weapons – including knives, brass knuckles, bats, a machete, tomahawks and a chain – were discovered.
During his news conference Friday, Stroman defended investigators’ decision to arrest the roughly 177 bikers following the shooting, and charge each with engaging in organized crime.
“Those people who went to jail that night, there was probable cause for that arrest,” Stroman said.
Breitbart Texas spoke with veteran Texas police officers and investigators on background, and they were surprised at how few shell casings have been recovered, considering the number of people killed and wounded. One officer said, “I would expect to see at least 100 shell casings. Most people with revolvers would probably have reloaded.”
Breitbart Texas also searched through more than 185 pages of McClennan County Jail documents, and our tally shows that a total of 43 people remain in jail under a one million dollar bond charged with ‘engaging in organized criminal activity.”
The complete statement on the current status of the Twin Peaks shooting investigation follows:
The number of officers initially assigned to the Twin Peaks event on 5-17-15 are as follows:
There were 16 uniformed Waco Police Department Officers to include 5 Supervisors (3 Sergeants, 1 Commander and an Assistant Chief). Included in that number was a Tactical Element (SWAT Officers) assigned and present. None of the Officers were assigned in a sniper capacity and all Officers were in their vehicles at the time the suspects began the shooting. Those Officers were stationed in the parking lots adjacent to the Twin Peaks and were visible to patrons entering the Twin Peaks parking lot. There were 6 marked Waco Police units and 4 unmarked Waco Police vehicles. This does not include DPS vehicles. There were also Texas Department of Public Safety Officers assigned to the event as well.
As of this release, there are a total of 44 shell casings recovered from the Twin Peaks scene. This number does not include the revolver rounds fired by non-law enforcement shooters. Those casings are still being counted. 12 of those casings were from the rifles of 3 Waco Officers who discharged their weapons in defense of their selves or a third party. The Waco SWAT Officers’ weapons are .223 caliber rifles that are capable of full-auto fire; Officers only fired in semi-auto mode during the incident. There was no full-auto gunfire from any of the Officers at the scene. As is normal practice, rifles carried by the Waco SWAT Officers were deployed with sound suppressors. No other Officers fired rounds from any other weapon during the incident. The Officers involved in the shooting have been assigned administrative duties pending the outcome of the investigation.
The number of weapons discovered during our search of the crime scene has increased since the first release and may continue to increase. The weapon count at this point in time is at least 475 weapons. This includes 151 firearms, 12 of which were long guns. The weapons recovered include: knives, brass knuckles, batons, tomahawks, weighted weapons, a hatchet, stun guns, bats, clubs, a machete, a pipe, an ax, pepper spray, and a chain. Many of these were hastily hidden and some were found using metal detectors as they were buried beneath the grass in the dirt. The involved firearms have been transferred to the ATF for analysis. Videos of the incident have been transferred to FBI Investigators for analysis. Full autopsy and ballistics analysis is being conducted by outside labs and the completed and final results have not been returned to us as of this release.
The special organizational structure of the Twin Peaks Investigation as it continues is this. There is a Commander assigned over the two Criminal Investigation Units (Special Crimes and SAFE-Support, Abatement, Forfeiture and Enforcement)investigating the cases that have developed from the shootings. There have been 4 additional Officers assigned to Special Crimes and 5 additional Officers assigned to SAFE to assist in the workload. This is in addition to the Detectives permanently assigned to those units. There are a total of 21 Officers and Supervisors assigned to the Twin Peaks Investigation.
Besides the addition of these Officers, we continue to receive support and investigation assistance from the following agencies; Texas Department of Public Safety including their Criminal Investigation Division and the Texas Rangers, Federal Bureau of Investigation-FBI, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms-ATF, Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission- TABC and the McLennan County District Attorney office.
We initially impounded 130 motorcycles and 91 other vehicles. As of June 10, 2015, 52 motorcycles and 47 vehicles have been released to the owners. In addition to those, 12 of the motorcycles and 3 of the other vehicles were released to the lien holders due to repossession.
At this point, we have recovered over 1000 pieces of evidence from the crime scene, the Convention Center (where suspects were initially detained) and the jail. Search warrants are still being issued in this case in reference to some of the property held as evidence.
There were 239 persons detained at the crime scene as result of the Twin Peaks shootings. At least 62 individuals were released from the crime scene or from the Convention Center without charges being filed. 177 persons were arrested that night or subsequently on warrants obtained by Detectives.
Rob Milford is a news contributor to Breitbart Texas. You can follow him on Facebook.