The Waco siege of 1993 started on February 28th when the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) began the stand-off with the religious sect, the Branch Davidians. The group was led by David Koresh, whose birth name is Vernon Howell. The Branch Davidians, consisting of 91 members, including 25 children, resided in a compound east of Waco, called the Mount Carmel Center.
Under the suspicion of stockpiling weapons, the ATF attempted to serve search and arrest warrants. Having been warned of the raid, the Branch Davidians were prepared. This initial gunfire battle resulted in deaths on both sides (4 ATF agents and 6 Branch Davidian members) prompting the FBI to become involved. For the following 51 days, the Branch Davidians and law enforcement were at a long and gruesome stand-off, tragically resulting in a fire that took the lives of 76 members.
In this episode of “I Was There”, VICE meets with Byron Sage, a retired FBI agent, who was one of the lead negotiators during the Waco siege of 1993.
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