9 Dead In Restaurant Shooting

9 Dead In Restaurant Shooting

( 4UMF NEWS ) 9 Dead In Restaurant Shooting:

Nine people were killed Sunday when a gunfight broke out between three rival motorcycle gangs at a restaurant in Waco, Texas, local media reported.

Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton confirmed "multiple fatalities" at Twin Peaks Restaurant, KWTX-TVreported from the scene. Several Waco media outlets said police confirmed nine deaths and multiple injuries in the incident, which broke out shortly after noon.

"Please avoid the Central Texas Market Place. Officers are working a shooting at Twin Peaks and the area is not safe," the police department tweeted.

Swanton said it was not immediately clear how many people were injured or what the severity of the injuries was. Police officials declined to provide additional details to USA TODAY, but several Waco news outlets said police confirmed the nine fatalities. Though police were on the scene, none of the dead or wounded was believed to be a police officer, officials said.

Swanton told KWTX that the fight quickly escalated from fists and feet to chains, clubs and knives, then to gunfire. He said gang members were shooting at each other. Officers at the scene fired their weapons, as well, he said.

On its Facebook page, the Waco Police Department advised residents to "avoid the Central Texas Market Place as the area is NOT safe. Officers are continuing to arrest individuals coming to the scene with weapons." It added, "This is not the time to sight see as we are dealing with very dangerous individuals."

A witness at the nearby Don Carlos Mexican Restaurant told KWTX he and his family walked into the parking lot between the restaurants when they heard several gunshots and saw wounded being taken from the fight scene. "We crouched down in front of our pick-up truck because that was the only cover we had," the man, who asked not to be identified, said.

KXXV-TV, citing an unnamed witness, said more than 20 shots had been fired.