waco siegeThe Waco Siege was a siege on a religious compound of Branch Davidians from February 28, 1993 to April 19, 1993. The siege occurred near the town of Waco, Texas.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) had come to the compound to arrest one David Koresh, the Branch Davidian leader. They also had a search warrant. They believed that there were unlicensed firearms, maybe many, in the compound. It is unclear who fired first, but soon after, ATF agents and Branch Davidians alike had been shot and killed.

Since the ATF had not successfully raided the Branch Davidian site, the FBI took matters into their own hands and launched a siege. This siege would last 51 days while they tried to force the Branch Davidians out. They negotiated with the Branch Davidians for those days, trying to create a plan that would help them.

At first, they made a deal with the leader, David Koresh. In return for their broadcast of his message on a national radio station, he would give himself up. However, he never did surrender himself.

Finally, the FBI came up with a very risky plan – they decided to use CS gas to clear the Branch Davidians out of their compound. The gas was released into the compound on April 19, 1993. Some fled the compound; others, according to witness reports, were shot by one another. The compound caught fire, claiming more than eighty lives.


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