(CNN) — Gunfire erupted Sunday among rival biker gangs in Waco, Texas, leaving at least nine people dead, according to police.
Authorities had anticipated trouble and pre-positioned officers.
“There were at least three rival gang groups here this morning for whatever reason. As they were here, we had officers on scene. We expected issues,” said Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton, a police spokesman.
The fight broke out at Twin Peaks restaurant and spilled into the parking lot. It quickly escalated from hands and feet, as weapons, to gunfire, Swanton said.
He told reporters that eight people were dead on the scene, and another was pronounced dead at an area hospital. An unspecified number of people are injured.
No officers were hurt, Swanton said. He praised their response.
“Their action has saved lives in keeping this from spilling into a very busy Sunday morning,” the spokesman said. “Thank goodness the officers were here, and took the action that they needed to take to save numerous lives.”