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Cossacks Motorcycle Club: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Cossacks Motorcycle Club, Cossacks biker gang, cossacks waco

Cossacks Motorcycle Club logo.

Members of the Cossacks Motorcycle Club were among five gangs involved in a violent brawl and shootout outside a Waco, Texas restaurant that left at least 9 dead and 18 wounded.

Eight members of the Cossacks were killed in the shootout and several were arrested, authorities said.

Another gang, the Bandidos Motorcycle Club, were at the center of the fight along with the Cossacks. Another gang that has been identified, the Scimitars, appeared to be aligned with the Cossacks.

Police said Monday morning that 170 people were arrested in connection with the shooting and will all face engaging in organized crime charges. The investigation is continuing.

Click here to see a list of the bikers who have been arrested.

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Here’s what you need to know about the Cossacks:


1. The Cossacks Were Founded in Texas in 1969

This Cossacks illustration shows some of the club's history. (YouTube)

This Cossacks illustration shows some of the club’s history. (YouTube)

The Cossacks were founded in Texas in 1969, according to the book The One Percenter Encyclopedia: The World of Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs.

The club’s colors are gold and black and its patch features a cossack, which is a nomadic horseman and warrior.

Its motto is, “We take care of our own.”

The Cossacks say they traded the horses rode by the warriors of 400 years ago for motorcycles, though they doubt any of their members descended from actual Russian cossacks.

The club started on Carlyle Street in Tyler, Texas. Its first president was Earl Swift.

The Cossacks are a Harley-Davidson-only club.

Eight members of the club were killed in the shootout in Waco, including Wayne Campbell, Daniel Boyett, Richard Kirschner and Matthew Smith.

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2. The Rivalry With the Bandidos Led to a Stabbing in 2013

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Cossacks bikers in Waco in 2014. (YouTube)

The rivalry between the Cossacks and the Bandidos in Texas goes back to at least 2013.

According to the BigCountryHomePage.com, the president of the Abilene, Texas chapter of the Bandidos, Curtis Jack Lewis, was arrested in November 2013 on charges that he stabbed two members of the Cossacks during a fight outside a restaurant.

Cossacks Motorcycle Club Photos: Pictures of Waco Biker Gang

The Cossacks Motorcycle Club are one of five biker gangs involved in the deadly shootout with rivals in Waco, Texas. See photos of the club here.

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3. The Cossacks Have Been ‘Flirting’ With the Hell’s Angels, the Bandidos’ Main Rivals

A gang expert told the Washington Post that the gang shootout parallels previous fights between the Bandidos and the Hells Angels, the main rival of the Bandidos and one of the world’s largest biker gangs.

The expert, Kansas City-area police officer Steve Cook, said the feud started because the Cossacks, backed by the Angels, challenged the Bandidos for control of Texas. Other gangs joined the battle with the Cossacks because they were angry over recent killings by the Bandidos.

“My perception is that the Cossacks have been flirting, if you will, with Hell’s Angels,” Cook told the Post. “If I’m a Bandido, my immediate reaction is: ‘These guys are going to try to make a move and bring an international gang into our state, which is going to cause a war.'”

Cook also told the Post:

The Bandidos already knew that the Cossacks weren’t going to play ball, and when push came to shove and these guys weren’t cooperating, all hell broke loose. You can tell by the number of weapons involved that these guys came looking for a fight. They were prepared.

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4. The Waco Shootout Was Called ‘One of the Worst Gun Fights’ in the City’s History

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A Waco police officer leads a biker away from the scene of a shooting that left at least 9 dead and several others wounded. (Waco Police photo)

One officer called the shootout between the rival gangs “one of the worst gun fights that we’ve had in the city limits of Waco.”

Police told KXXV-TV that all of the victims were gang members who had gathered at the Twin Peaks restaurant. At least 18 others were, also all bikers, were injured. The extent of those injuries wasn’t immediately released.

Sgt. Patrick Swanton said innocent bystanders and officers somehow managed to escape injury, including a restaurant full of families just feet away from the one where the shooting started.

“Let’s just say it’s Sunday and someone was looking out for us,” Swanton said. “There were so many rounds fired from bad guy weapons here.”

Police said there were at least 100 bikers at the scene and at least five gangs involved. Swanton said the argument started over a parking issue.

More than 100 weapons were recovered at the scene.

“We were in marked cars. They knew we were here, they knew that we’ve been here at their past events. And it mattered not to them,” Swanton said at a news conference, which was posted online by KXXV. “That tells you the kind of level of people we’re dealing with.”

Police said the Twin Peaks restaurant could have done more to prevent the violence.

Waco Police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton told the Waco Tribune, “Management knew that there were issues, and we were here, but they continued to let those groups of people into their business.”

“Apparently the management wanted them here, so we didn’t have any say so on whether they could be here or not,” Swanton said.

“A lot of innocent people could have been injured today,” Swanton said. “These are very dangerous, hostile criminal biker gangs.”

Local District Attorney Abel Reyna told KWTX about two weeks ago that trouble between rival bikers had been brewing at Twin Peaks for some time. He said police were on heightened alert because of incidents during Biker Night on Thursdays.

He said two local motorcycle gangs were feuding and it spilled over as others from the Dallas-Fort Worth area came to Waco to support the local gangs.

The operating partner for the restaurant, Jay Patel, posted a statement on Facebook:

We are horrified by the criminal, violent acts that occurred outside of our Waco restaurant today. We share in the community’s trauma. Our priority is to provide a safe and enjoyable environment for our customers and employees, and we consider the police our partners in doing so. Our management team has had ongoing and positive communications with the police and we will continue to work with them as we all want to keep violent crime out of our businesses and community. We will continue to cooperate with the police as they investigate this terrible crime.

The restaurant’s corporate Twitter account posted after the shooting:

Bandidos Motorcycle Club Photos: Pictures of Waco Biker Gang

The Bandidos Motorcycle Club were at the center of a shootout in Waco, Texas with rival biker gangs that left 9 dead. See photos of the club here.

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5. Police Said the Gangs Wanted to ‘Instill Violence Into Our Community’

A screengrab from KWTX shows the scene of a shooting in Waco that left at least 9 dead. (KWTX)

A screengrab from KWTX shows the scene of a shooting in Waco that left at least 9 dead. (KWTX)

The police department’s spokesman, Sgt. Patrick Swanton, was clear about who the bikers are after a reporter said one of the bikers claimed that they are clubs, not gangs.

“They are a biker gang. We know exactly who they are,” Swanton said at a televised news conference. “A bunch of criminal element biker members that came to Waco and tried to instill violence into our community and unfortunately did just that.”

“This is not a bunch of doctors and dentists and lawyers riding Harleys,” he said. “These are criminals on Harley-Davidsons.”

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227 comments

  1. Really? Over a parking spot? by your retarded actions you put innocent children women men in danger. But do you care nope.

    • Yet again people have no idea what this is about. Go back your gangland episode’s and sons of anarchy reruns. We handle ours the way it’s needed to be handled. A parking spot had nothing to do with it that is the cops and media generating that so step off you have no idea.

    • Really? So the other men don’t count eh? You know the fathers, husbands, brothers, sons, and others who just happened to be there of an adult age without a vagina. Yeah, and why do we marry in this country again?

      Perhaps if geniuses like you actually allowed men to handel their business, and not use the government gun to force men out of their home, we would not have these biker gangs in the first place?! Or at least they would have picked a spot in the middle of no where, where none of us would have to care.

      I suppose you are of the type that started focusing on groups like Boko Haram “AFTER” they kidnapped three hundred girls. But didn’t care when since 2002 Boko Haram had been killing men and boys in ever greater numbers, until they killed a grand mother.

      Same with this biker gang. They beat up each other, go in and out of prison, and kill off a few innocent dudes who did them no wrong; You say: “Eh, who cares!?”

      They threaten the “innocent wymmins an children” and in comes the sycophant with his shaky third chin decrying how terrible they are.

      Mind your business son. If you cared about men and women, you’d better care about the men they are suppose to care about. Since you only care about whatever useless need they cry about at the time, and can’t be bothered to actually lead, why don’t you enjoy the thought of your wife “taking care” of one of these Bandidos, Hell’s Angels, or Cossacks. Because regardless of how “awful” he is. Women like a man who is not a pushover. And could care less how much you will “sacrifice” on their behalf.

  2. If my club was called the “crossacks” i’d expect to be made fun of…might as well be the ballsacks, lol

  3. It’s funny with all the viralness going on today. Not one person caught any of this on video. How do we know cops weren’t the first to shoot after seeing a gun. Everything on that went out the window. I agree with someone who commented that ballistics should be produced.

  4. Let em war if they want to…as long as civilians and theyre property are left alone. Mafia was able to conduct their business on the low down I don’t see why the clubs cant do the same.

  5. The worst gun fight ever in history in Waco? Really? Did he forget about the Waco police and the FBI, slaughtering all those innocent people at the Branch Davidian ranch?

  6. I am a former Cossack. Yes it is an outlaw club but most are blue collared family men. A few years ago some had the idea to go 1% and fly the Texas rocker. That was my exit cue I didn’t not need the stress of getting shot off my ride. The majority of the club do not live the 1% life and are not adept for it.

  7. I’m sad to hear that more Red N Gold were not shot and killed in Waco! Fuck their Support Clubs,their COC Bullshit! Your Dead in Texas..wake up chumps…

  8. Where are you getting your false information from? The Cossacks are not and were not nor have ever wanted anything to do with the Hell’s Angels OMG. The Cossacks and other MCs around Texas just do not feel they should have to pay a fee to the Bandidos to wear a Texas Rocker as no one owns Texas.

    • That’s no different from the ignorant claims that the Bandidos are tied with the Angels. They have been rivals for a very long time. My guess is too much television and see too much Internet nonsense .

  9. Looks to me when all the smoke and bullshit clears, the cops had an open season on bikers. I’ll bet autopsy shows every dead man and wounded were with cop bullets

    • Most of the dead were shot in the head. I believe if youre in a pistol shoot out its kinda hard to stop and take aim for a head or neck. If youre a cop with an assault rifle its alot easier. I feel lines were crossed yes and it may have went to far. But that is the lifestyle.

      • Sorry to sound stupid. Your comment, “But that is the lifestyle”, do you expect these killings to happen when you meet for beer and talks?

  10. this is the biggest bunch of shit I have ever heard!!!!!! where do they get these experts, and what the hell does the Waco pd know about anything biker related????? it is obvious they were on a hunting trip!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Listen to a fifty plus year biker. Part, if not all, of the issue here is to keep the Hell’s Angels OUT of Texas. The only thing or person or organization doing that is the Bandido’s of Texas. It’s a matter of the devil you know OR the devil you don’t know! The Bandidos are asshole idiots, BUT, they’re OUR asshole idiots…would you rather have Califonia Hell’s Angels. That’s the question. The Cossacks lean towards the Angels and COULD become an Angels chapter… I DON’T LIKE EITHER ONE, but, better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.

    Fifty year “Biker”, Gene Paul Bevil
    You got a problem with this “comment”, come find me! We”ll “talk”!

  12. I’m privie to a number of facts surrounding the shootout at Waco, however until some of the bikers get out of jail and additional information comes to light. I don’t have any intention to
    start pointing fingers, or forming opinions, or speculating endlessly regarding this event. The police have filled criminal charges against 170 bikers
    at this shootout, and have admitted they did so to hold them for questioning. It would stand to reason, if they need all that Intel they have yet to
    figure out what really happened. Remember the truth can never be hidden for very long, and seeing there are 170 witnesses we shouldn’t
    Have to wait very long.

  13. U guys anything like the Sons of Anarchy?
    Jax was a knucklehead.
    Motorcycle clubs aren’t anything like SAMCRO are they?

  14. Cossaks went where they werent welcome and knew clubs where there that didnt want them there.some of them claim to be family oriented club and others are trying to play the fence.trying to act like 1%ers then claim they are just a family orientated riding club.funny if you look them up by name on facebook they show them posting pics. Of them with weapons like hammers and guns funny how they also show pics. Of there familys on facebook and there liscence plates of there motorcycles.lmfao ya jam up your neighbors and family that are innocent.retards stop watching soa and gangland and pull your heads out of the sand and be men.are they just a family club or not do they not even know??are they confused?like some ama clubs hiding behind the ama patch when they see 1%ers then act like there bad ass when the 1%ers arent around.ive seen it a bunch of times and the cossacks tried that around my area many years ago untill the pres. met the pres. of the 1%er club that runs my area and he ran and shut down his chapter.i knew the pres. of the 1%er club very well and years later met the grandson of the pres. Of the cossacks from then and he confirmed what i allready knew.they where trying to play the game and lost.if you want to be outlaw join 1 of the real 5 1%er clubs or just be ama.dont be sneaky and play the game then cry wow is me and pretend you did nothing wronge and they played into the cops as well.they wanted something to happen otherwise why not have a roadblock and point them in other direction?they do that in my area.now this stupidity is going to be a head ache to all clubs ama and 1%ers showing disrespect to both sides of the spectrum

  15. I can’t believe the audacity of these scumbag criminal bike gangs who always claim that they’re a “club”. Remember nixon,”I’m not a crook”.these people are into meth and violence and it’s not the life of doing good by any means

  16. We’re not a gang…just a club
    …remember nixon…im not a crook
    …..these 1 percent clubs are criminals selling meth and using violence over a patch…….kinda crazy……..where r the priorities

  17. They may not be doctors or lawyers. But these guys get up and go to work everyday just like anyone else. Some on oil rigs, pipelines, mechanics, business owners. I’m not a member but have been around the cossacks off and on over the years. I know several of the guys within the club have no criminal background. Sounds like who wrote this article and the sgt watch to much SOA. I support the cossacks

  18. Matthew Smith, a Cossack, was one of those killed. He is my 6 yr old son’s father as well as my best friend of over 15 years. His life was taken away over a fucking patch…my son still cries for his father every day. Grow the fuck up you sick fucks. And as for the Waco PD…those are the main ones to blame…a bunch of murderers with badges. My son has to grow up without a father now because of this bullshit…I hope you motherfuckers are happy taking a childs father away over a god damn patch. Choke on your balls and die.

  19. The part I can’t even begin to understand is if the Cossacks are not a 1% club why do they insist on wearing a bottom rocker that has TEXAS on it ? Right or wrong that is not asking for trouble it’s looking for trouble with finding it guaranteed 100%. If a bottom rocker is worth dying over or throwing your life away, more power to you. I will never understand why you chose to even consider it for 1 second knowing when you did it people would die. A police set up and massacre ? Obviously it was but that comes with the statement you insist on making which defies common sense ! It’s like you are saying “We are hard working law abiding citizens with family’s but WE make the rules when it comes to motorcycle clubs. So what if it starts a war with a extremely dangerous club who sees it as disrespect.

  20. We now know that several of the bodies were found with .223cal bullets in them. This is from an AR15/M16 or such like tactical weapon like those used extensively by … police. I have yet to see a biker with an AR strapped on the bike. The cover up is starting to unravel.

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  22. We don’t have such wars among bikers in my country, so I don’t understand the reason. As I can see from the info I get online, all the clubs involved share the same values (love to motorcycles, desire to spend times with the people who have the same interests, far right political views, etc.). So, what’s the reason of their feud? Do they have some business opportunities involved or something like that?

  23. big tough guys where innocent civilians are ?? you gotta be shitting me what if you killed a child or adult what thats the cost of doing “buisness” are you kidding me keep that shit in texas because if it goes down in nyc you guys are toast come on dont involve civilians at a public place go to the desert and fight it out like these moronic so called bikers in nyc assaulting that guy so the guy ran em over look you want to be a badass thats fine but dont try to intimidate innocent people cause up here in ny you may very well be screwing with the wrong guy or girl which could have fatal concequences ie a ” connected guy” dig ? so be nice and play nice everyone has there lot in life the word is respect because if you want all the respect and dont want to give none then my friends the opposite result may be worse than you bargained for remember its all about RESPECT