Waco, Texas (CNN) After the guns fell silent on May 17 — one of the bloodiest afternoons in the history of American motorcycle clubs — nine bikers lay dead in a strip mall parking lot littered with weapons.
Many more were injured, bleeding from gunshots and knife wounds. A police officer asked what every other cop there must have wondered at that moment: How many of you are armed?
Nearly everybody did.
As Holt and his fellow officers disarmed the injured bikers, so many guns piled up on the ground that they literally got in the way. SWAT team officers drove a pickup truck to the crime scene “so we could pile the firearms in the bed to try to keep suspects from moving over the top of them,” Holt noted in his report.
480 weapons, 177 arrests
In all, police recovered 480 weapons: 151 guns, along with assorted knives, brass knuckles, batons, hammers, and the bikers’ blunt objects of choice — padlocks wrapped in bandanas.
Some 177 bikers were arrested — so many that they were taken to the Waco Convention Center and held for processing in separate rooms: one for members of the club known as the Bandidos and the other for their rivals, the Cossacks. All were jailed on $1 million bail each and charged with engaging in organized crime activity.
More than five months later, no one has been charged in the deaths of the nine bikers. Police and prosecutors are silenced by a gag order; a grand jury is weighing charges in the case.