Surveillance video from Don Carlos restaurant shown on day 7 of first Twin Peaks trial

Posted at 12:59 PM, Oct 19, 2017
and last updated 2018-07-24 21:31:12-04

The general manager of the restaurant next to where the Twin Peaks shooting on May 17, 2015, happened testified on day seven of the first Twin Peaks trial.

Christopher Jacob Carrizal, president of the Dallas chapter of the Bandidos, is on trial after being indicted on charges of directing activities of a criminal street gang and engaging in organized criminal activity.  Nine people died and dozens were injured after the shootout. 

Don Carlos General Manager Peter Caldwell said  there are 16 surveillance cameras around the property. Prosecutors showed the video starting at 12 p.m., which was 40 minutes before prosecutors estimate the first shots rang out.

On Thursday morning, the video showed customers going into the Don Carlos restaurant for lunch.

Caldwell described Sundays usually being a good day for business with customers coming to the establishment after church.

"We have a great Sunday lunch business," Caldwell said. 

However, throughout the video customers entering the restaurant seem to be focused to what is happening next door.

Around 12:22 p.m., the surveillance video shows a glimpse of people walking toward the direction of the Twin Peaks patio and motorcycles rolling in.

Eighteen minutes later, the video shows a man wearing a blue shirt who was smoking outside Don Carlos scratching his head. Moments after he runs in the direction of the main entrance of that restaurant.

"He's running for cover," Caldwell said.

Moments later, several men, who Caldwell identified as police officers, arrive at the Don Carlos parking lot with rifles and seek cover behind a white vehicle.

 Prosecutor Michael Jarrett asked Caldwell several times whether officers had discharged their weapons and Caldwell replied no. 

"While everyone else was running away, these officers are going toward the violence," Jarrett stated.

Caldwell estimates those officers were 30 feet away from the Twin Peaks parking lot. At 12:43, a Waco Police squad car with its lights on enters the Don Carlos Parking lot. An officer gets out of the car and goes closer to the grassy median that separates Don Carlos and Twin Peaks. Soon after, he retrieves something from his car and goes outside once again, seeking for cover behind cars parked at Don Carlos.

Caldwell is expected to continue his testimony on Friday morning at 9 a.m.

Before Caldwell's testimony, Department of Public Safety Special Agent Christopher Frost said four officers, including him, were supposed to be undercover inside of the Twin Peaks restaurant when the COCI meeting happened. However, he said that changed after his supervisor looked at footage from a hidden DPS camera that showed Cossacks in the patio area an hour and a half earlier than when the meeting was expected to start.

The jury was recessed at noon because the judge was a pallbearer at a funeral on Thursday afternoon. 

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