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SWAT sergeant testifying on day 6 of Twin Peaks trial says officers didn't anticipate shootout

(Source: KXXV) (Source: KXXV)
WACO, TX (KXXV) -


A SWAT sergeant for Waco Police who witnessed the Twin Peaks incident said officers did not anticipate a shootout more than two years ago outside the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco.

Sgt. Stephen Drews, who started his testimony on Tuesday, said he was assigned to investigate and create a plan in preparation to the Confederation of Clubs and Independents meeting expected to take place at the Twin Peaks restaurant on May 17, 2015.

Christopher Jacob Carrizal, the president of the Dallas chapter of the Bandidos, who is now on trial was indicted on charges of directing activities of a criminal street gang and engaging in organized criminal activity.

Drews testified Waco Police officers had a visible presence at the scene with marked units and uniformed officers. 

According to Drews, they expected there could be a confrontation between the Cossacks and Bandidos because both groups didn't get along. However, he said they didn't expect what happened.

"I thought we would probably going to have to break up several fights, possibly deploy gas to break up the crowds," Drews said.

When Defense Attorney Casie Gotro asked in that situation his adrenaline probably started pumping because he was going to walk into what she refers to as "close to combat."

"Going into a fight is different than going into a shootout. We thought we were fixing to have a large fight," Drews said.

He added if they would've known a shootout was possible, they would've worn more protective gear and heavier bulletproof vests. In addition, he said they would've not taken an officer in training to the scene.

According to Drews, there had not been any incidents at the Twin Peaks restaurant on bike nights.

On May 17, 2015, he said he called some officers off duty to come in for the special assignment, which he said didn't expect to turn out as it did.

"I told them it would be an easy overtime assignment and that we would be out by 2 p.m," he said. 

A special agent with the criminal investigations unit of the Department of Public Safety also testified on Wednesday stating they also did not expect a shootout.

Christopher Frost said his department set up a hidden camera in front of the Twin Peaks patio before the COCI meeting took place. He said they parked near the restaurant 30 minutes before the shooting took place and accessed footage from the hidden camera remotely.

He recalls seeing footage of a large amount of Cossacks in the patio area at 11:32 p.m. and just before the shooting started, around 15 bikers rolling in with their motorcycles.

The undercover agent said the video showed people looking from the corner of the patio where the altercation started and moments later, he heard shots and people running.

He said at that time, they got out of their vehicles and put bulletproof vests on. 

"We have a larger level vest, we would've been wearing that with a helmet and most likely if we would've known this was going to occur our SWAT team would've been supplementing Waco SWAT Team," Frost said.

During Wednesday's testimony, prosecutors showed the video of the hidden camera frame by frame. 

When asked whether he believed the Cossacks are just accountable as the Bandidos for what happened.

Witnesses who have seen or have investigated altercations or violent incidents between the Bandidos and the Cossacks prior to the Twin Peaks shootout also testified. 

The testimony will continue on Thursday morning.

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