Decorated war vet critical of Waco police actions

A decorated Iraq war veteran, who was jailed after the Twin Peaks shootout in Waco, is telling an alarming version of the deadly encounter. News 8's Brett Shipp has more.

A decorated Iraq war veteran, who was jailed after the Twin Peaks shootout in Waco, is telling an alarming version of the deadly encounter.

He says not only was he wrongly imprisoned for three weeks, he says he witnessed police firing their weapons in an "aimless" assault into a crowd of bikers, nine of whom were killed.

Former U.S. Marine Michael Devoll of Fort Worth, who completed three tours of duty in Iraq, has survived an untold number of firefights. But he says the one he witnessed in Waco on May 17 will forever haunt him.

Not just because he was arrested following the incident and held in jail for 22 days on $1 million bail, but also because of what he calls a "barrage" of assault weapon fire coming from police directed into a crowd of bikers.

"I couldn't believe what I was seeing," Devoll said. "It was the most unorganized, unprofessional thing I've ever been a part of."

Devoll says he was a passenger in a pickup that had just pulled into the Twin Peaks parking lot, when he heard gunfire.

"I heard a few rounds of handgun fire and then, I would say, an overbearing suppressing fire of M-4 rounds," Devoll said.

"As they came from the Twin Peaks parking lot, about halfway through, is where they started engaging the group of individuals that were in the front," Devoll said.

The handgun fire, according to police reports, was between members of two biker gangs, the Bandidos and the Cossacks. The M-4, or assault rifle fire, according to Devoll, was from a large group of police stationed on the perimeter of the parking lot, moving in on the group of bikers next to Twin Peaks.

Devoll says while police were responding to a dangerous situation, it appeared as though they were randomly firing into a group of bikers.

"People lying on the ground, trying to get away from the gunfire," Devoll said. "I saw a woman with her hands over the top of her head screaming. People running for cover. The way the cops came running in and doing what they did, it seemed like almost shooting aimlessly into a crowd of people."

When the dust settled, nine bikers were dead, more than a dozen were wounded. 177 bystanders, including Devoll, were arrested and charged with engaging in organized crime.

His attorney, Monica Bishop of Waxahachie, says Devoll is not a gang member but a war hero and family man who was degraded by spending 22 days in jail.

"They started treating people at the scene as criminals from the very beginning," Bishop said. "They were given $1 million bonds and held without any reason to believe that most of them had committed any crime."

Waco police deny the allegations and say their officers were in the right. In fact, they've said they were being fired upon and returned fire to both protect themselves and the other innocent people.

MORE: Stories about the Twin Peaks shooting


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