FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) -- Texas officers involved in a deadly shooting outside a biker gathering in Waco had disabled the automatic setting on their rifles, and most of the dozens of shell casings found at the scene were from suspects' guns, police said Friday.
Only three of the 16 officers outside the Twin Peaks restaurant fired their weapons after gunfire erupted following a dispute between two rival biker gangs on May 17, Waco Police Chief Brent Stroman said. The chief said the officers, who were staged outside in anticipation of a large biker meeting, fired 12 times only after being shot at during the melee that left nine people dead and 18 injured.
"We did not fire indiscriminately into the crowd. Our officers were restrained," Stroman said during a news conference Friday in Waco.
Witnesses have said they thought they heard automatic weapons during the shooting. Investigators haven't said who fired the fatal shots.
Waco, Texas biker shooting, motorcycle club
Suspects fired most shots in Texas biker melee
WACO, TX - MAY 18: Motorcyles sit in the parking lot of the Twin Peaks restaurant, the scene of a motorcyle gang shootout, May 18, 2015 in Waco, Texas. A shootout between rival biker gangs began in the afternoon May 17, led to nine dead, many injured and 170 arrerested. (Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)
WACO, TX - MAY 18: Law enforcement officials stands at the scene of a motorcyle gang shootout theTwin Peaks restaurant May 18, 2015 in Waco, Texas. A shootout between rival biker gangs began in the afternoon May 17, led to nine dead, many injured and 170 arrerested. (Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)
WACO, TX - MAY 18: Waco Police Department Public Affairs Officer Sgt. Patrick Swanton gives a press conference in front of the Twin Peaks restaurant May 18, 2015 in Waco, Texas. A shootout between rival biker gangs began in the afternoon May 17, led to nine dead, many injured and 170 arrerested. (Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)
DEVELOPING: 9 dead and multiple injuries following a shooting at a restaurant in Waco, Texas http://t.co/HLMqbIyPXY http://t.co/o3dXIzP37b
-3 Crime Scenes
-Police Fear Retaliation
MORE: http://t.co/RzvgzFUeIS … http://t.co/1Ij8pf8lzV
UPDATE: Nine reported dead in #Waco restaurant melee involving #motorcycle gangs
Anarchy in Waco. Nine dead in Twin Peaks biker shooting. #khou11 http://t.co/DsJtlcCpq4 Photo: @KCENNews http://t.co/mzoSKet8jH
BREAKING! Multiple FATALITIES from biker gang SHOOTOUT in Waco, Texas: Apparently there has been a sh... http://t.co/P3A5kIZSU7 #mcgnews
Multiple people dead in Waco after argument between rival biker gangs ends in shootout http://t.co/GmRrDr4g3z via Mashable
Nine dead, others injured in Waco biker brawl
9 dead in Waco, TX shooting. 3 rival biker gangs open fire against each other in parking lot. http://t.co/hVvPdpaOFt http://t.co/M7IqHQwNpN
BREAKING: 9 dead, others injured after shooting between rival biker gangs in Waco, TX>> http://t.co/8VQEjDDA6r http://t.co/cnPyYjtDY6
RT CBSNews "BREAKING: Several killed in shootout between rival biker gangs in Waco, Texas, police say - … http://t.co/9L9FeRsLKe"
9 dead in Texas restaurant shootout http://t.co/10EVfoFBTJ
Discover More Like This
BACK TO SLIDE
The shooting began after an apparent confrontation between the Bandidos, the predominant motorcycle club in Texas, and the Cossacks, according to investigators. About 175 bikers were arrested following the shooting, and hundreds of weapons - including 151 firearms - have been recovered.
Stroman said the three officers who fired their weapons shot a total of 12 bullets, though 44 shell casings have been found so far at the scene. Police spokesman Steve Anderson said 32 of those recovered casings came from suspects' weapons, and don't include casings from suspects' revolvers, from which casings must be manually ejected.
"As we get into examining all of the weapons, we may find even more empty shell casings, to show there were more than 32 rounds fired by suspects," Anderson said Friday.
Other weapons recovered include knives, brass knuckles, tomahawks, bats, a machete and a chain. Some weapons were stashed in between bags of flour in the restaurant's kitchen, while others were recovered with metal detectors, found buried under grass, police said.
During his news conference Friday, Stroman defended investigators' decision to arrest the roughly 175 bikers following the shooting, and charge each with engaging in organized crime.
"Those people who went to jail that night, there was probable cause for that arrest," Stroman said.
This story has been corrected to show police now say 16 officers were outside restaurant, not nearly two dozen law enforcement officers.