A Texas restaurant with topless waitresses became a battleground for bikies on Monday with nine gang members killed during a shootout in the town of Waco.
About 18 injuries from knives and gunshots were also reported in the “gruesome” scene.
The high-noon shootout was outside a Twin Peaks restaurant in a Waco mall, a venue is known as a “breastaurant” as the chain has bikini-clad and topless barmaids, the New York Daily News reported.
Police were apparently warned about the shootout and were at the scene as it was happening, News Channel 24 reported. The gang members were reportedly aware of the police’s presence.
One witness likened the scene to a war-zone.
“There were maybe 30 guns being fired in the parking lot, maybe 100 rounds,” Michelle Logan, 37, told the Waco Tribune-Herald. Ms Logan was at Twin Peaks at the time of the shooting and said she knows some of the victims.
“They just opened fire.”
Police sources told the newspaper the rival gangs were the Banditos and the Cossacks.
Waco police Sergeant Patrick Swanton said “this is a major crime scene. It is a pretty gruesome scene”.
He said management was willing to host the rival outlaw gangs.
“The management wanted them here,” Sergeant Swanton said of Twin Peaks officials. “Management knew that there were issues, and we were here, but they continued to let those groups of people into their business.”
Twin Peaks management did not immediately offer a response to the police officer’s statement.
No bystanders or police were injured or killed during the fracas.
At least five rival gangs gathered at Twin Peaks for a meeting that Swanton said focused on turf and recruitment, two areas where the groups have often clashed.
Preliminary findings indicate a dispute broke out in a bathroom, escalated to include knives and guns and eventually spilled into the restaurant parking lot.
There were 150 to 200 gang members inside the restaurant at the time. Shots were fired inside and outside the restaurant.
— Jennifer Smith (@JSmith_CNN) May 17, 2015
– with AAP