Surveillance footage from a deadly shootout involving members of two biker gangs at a Waco, Texas restaurant was made public Thursday, forcing the city's police department to deny it had released the footage.
Nine people died and 20 were injured during the shooting, which authorities say arose from an apparent confrontation between the Bandidos and the Cossacks motorcycle clubs.
The Waco Tribune-Herald reported that the footage is consistent with early police reports that described an array of weapons stashed all over the Twin Peaks restaurant, including in kitchen stoves and toilets, by bikers attempting to flee the scene. The footage, which was first released by CNN, also shows various gang members hiding under tables and firing guns during the melee.
"It does appear to be crime scene photos and video from Twin Peaks, but we did not release it," Waco Police spokesman Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton.
The Tribune reported that CNN originally tagged the footage as coming from the Waco Police Department, but later changed its on-air tag to say simply "surveillance video."
"I can speculate that it was released by an attorney who got it through discovery," Swanton added, saying in a statement, "There is a small pool of individuals that include defense attorneys who had access to the information through discovery ... The party responsible for providing the released video and photographs may be subject to ethical and legal issues for doing so."
The Tribune-Herald reported that it had tried to obtain surveillance video and photos from the scene, but had only received 19 pages of incomplete incident reports. The Associated Press reported that it had viewed the footage three days after the shooting, but did not make it public.
Swanton claimed the police department is under a gag order preventing it from releasing more information. He also claimed that the footage was not released by the McLennan County District Attorney's office.
A grand jury was impaneled earlier this month and is currently considering the cases of 177 people who were arrested in the aftermath of the shooting. None of those people, who were arrested and held for days or weeks on $1 million bonds, has been charged. It remains unclear whose bullets struck those who died or were hurt.
The Associated Press contributed tot his report.