Bandido key chains, Cossack jewelry, knife sheaths, stickers containing obscenities and even raffle tickets were among the many items in clothing found on suspects after a judge signed the first 30 search warrants on suspects in the bloody Twin Peaks shootout that killed nine people and injured 18.
The legal documents were obtained by the Tribune-Herald on Thursday.
54th State District Judge Matt Johnson said he issued 40 such search warrants Wednesday. Those warrants returned evidence in and on property belonging to suspects from Waco, San Antonio, Austin, Hewitt and elsewhere around the state. Symbols and paraphernalia on clothing and in bags showed club loyalty and alliances along a distinct line between rival motorcycle clubs Bandidos and Cossacks.
According to legal documents, some allegedly present during Sunday’s shooting were wearing Scimitar T-shirts and Cossack patches together. Others wearing Los Pirados paraphernalia were combining them with “support your local Bandidos” T-shirts.
Valdemar Guajardo Jr., 37, of Red Oak, was wearing a red-and-yellow T-shirt, Bandido patches and carried an anti-Cossack wallet, according to the documents.
Ray Arnold Allen, 45, of Krum, had a Bandidos vest, Bandidos business cards, a Bandidos belt, a bag of patches adorned with smiley faces that had a bullet hole in the heads, vulgar patches indicating one’s prowess in attracting women, stickers with obscenities and Bandidos paperwork.
Raymond Clifton Hawes, 29, of Waco, was wearing a Scimitars T-shirt with a Cossacks koozie, Cossacks patch, black-and-yellow bandanna and a black-and-yellow key chain.
Nathan Clark Grindstaff, 37, of Blum, possessed a Cossacks necklace, a black-and-yellow knife sheath and a Cossacks wallet.
Business cards, jewelry, patches, hoodies, vests, belt buckles, shoelaces, memo pads, lists of names, bandannas and handkerchiefs were all common among the 30 documents.
Some items had markings of five, 10 or more years with the organizations.
State District Judge Vicki Menard said she signed many more search warrants Thursday, but she declined to say how many. State District Judge Jim Meyer said he signed 47 search warrants on vehicles that were parked in the Twin Peaks lot.
Other bikers, including one of the nine killed Sunday, reportedly were held in high esteem among their communities. According to military records, Jesus Delgado Rodriguez, 65, was an active-duty Marine from 1969 and 1973 and received a Purple Heart, given to those wounded or killed in action. Rodriguez, who is from New Braunfels, also received a Navy commendation medal. Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said Wednesday that all those killed in the melee were members of two rival gangs.
But family members told the Associated Press that Rodriguez at one point belonged to two motorcycle clubs but that he wasn’t part of any club when he was killed Sunday. Rodriguez reportedly had friends who were Bandidos.
One of the arrested, Sandra “Drama” Lynch, of Mart, is well-known among local bikers for her positive work in the community, the Tribune-Herald reported Wednesday. Lynch reserved the patio at the restaurant for Sunday’s meeting, and she has organized charity concerts for cancer patients, rescued dogs and fought for motorcycle-friendly legislation. She has traveled throughout Texas to promote a “share the road” campaign, and she and others recently accepted a proclamation from Lacy Lakeview City Council for motorcycle awareness month.
Others have claimed that many in attendance at the Texas Confederation of Clubs & Independents, scheduled for Twin Peaks at 1 p.m. Sunday, were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time when gunfire erupted and were swept up in the arrests.
In a press conference Thursday, Swanton stood firm in the assertion that those killed were members of motorcycle gangs, emphasizing that the “criminal element” instigated Sunday’s events, not police. Swanton also responded to criticism on social media accusing police of lying or covering up part of the investigation into Sunday’s events.
“We are only five days into an extremely complex investigation,” he said, adding that officials do not have a time frame on when it will be completed or when more information will be released.
“I think it would be quite a feat to get all of those agencies to conspire,” he said, referring to outside agencies the Waco Police Department has enlisted to help with the investigation. Those include the McLennan County District Attorney’s Office, Texas Rangers, ATF, FBI, Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and the Department of Public Safety’s criminal investigations division, in addition to local agencies.
“Select videos and cropped photos do not paint a full picture,” he said, referencing media shared online and a video that was shown to the AP by representatives of the Twin Peaks franchise that reportedly shows information conflicting with police’s account.
“To those involved, you know law enforcement did absolutely nothing to start this,” he said.
Swanton noted that police will not release footage until the district attorney’s office decides it is appropriate.
“We are not going to taint evidence by providing it at a time that hurts our case,” he said. “You will eventually see what happened.”
Swanton also said officials did not arrest everyone present that day, adding that of the more than 200 people present on the scene Sunday, many were intentionally released.
“If we thought you were innocent, you did not get arrested that day,” he said.
Staff writer Tommy Witherspoon and the Associated Press contributed to this story.