Autopsy reports released in Waco biker shooting

AP News
|
Posted: Aug 13, 2015 6:23 PM

WACO, Texas (AP) — Autopsy reports for nine people killed in a shootout involving bikers and police in Waco were released Thursday, nearly three months after the confrontation outside the Twin Peaks restaurant — but authorities still have not said who shot whom.

The autopsies, released by McLennan County Justice of the Peace Pete Peterson, showed that all nine were killed by gunshots, mirroring the results of preliminary reports released in May. Eighteen people were injured in the shootout.

Waco Sgt. Patrick Swanton declined to comment, citing a gag order in the criminal case of Matthew Clendennen, one of the 177 people arrested and jailed following the May 17 shootout on allegations of engaging in organized criminal activity. All but two of the 177 have been released, and no one has been formally charged.

"I can't make heads or tails of these, but it's not surprising that Waco authorities are less than forthcoming," Clendennen's attorney, Clint Broden, said of the autopsy reports.

Authorities say the May 17 shootout outside the Twin Peaks restaurant stemmed from an apparent confrontation between the Bandidos, classified as a gang by the Texas Department of Public Safety, and the Cossacks.

The autopsies showed that at least four of the nine victims had illegal drugs in their system when they died, but offer no indication about whether the nine were killed by other bikers or by police. Federal officials are also still conducting a ballistics investigation.

A firearms examiner would need physical evidence, including bullets and bullet casings, to make a determination about the firearms used, said Ramit Plushnick-Masti, a spokeswoman for the Houston Forensic Science Center, whose office was not involved in the case.

The autopsies were performed by the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Science in Dallas. The reports found that:

—Daniel Boyett, 44, was shot twice in the head and once in the abdomen, and had trace amounts of methamphetamine in his system.

—Wayne Lee Campbell, 43, died from a gunshot wound to the head.

—Richard Matthew Jordan, 31, suffered one gunshot wound to the head, and tested positive for marijuana on a blood test.

—Richard Vincent Kirschner Jr., 47, was shot three times, and toxicology tests found traces of cocaine and alcohol.

—Jacob Rhyne, 39, died of gunshot wounds to the neck and abdomen.

—Jesus Rodriguez, 65, died from gunshot wounds to the head and trunk.

—Manuel Rodriguez, 40, died of gunshot wounds to the head and back.

—Charles Wayne Russell, 46, was shot once in the chest, and tested positive for marijuana.

—Matthew Smith, 27, was shot in the back and in the abdomen.

Several of the bikers arrested have evidentiary hearings scheduled for next week.