On April 19, 1993, the Waco siege, a 51-day standoff between the FBI and the Branch Davidians religious group, ended in tragedy. The siege began on February 28, 1993, after a botched ATF raid on the group’s compound in Waco, Texas, resulted in a shootout that left four ATF agents and six Branch Davidians dead.
The FBI took over the operation and attempted to negotiate a peaceful surrender, but the situation deteriorated over time. On April 19, FBI agents moved in with tear gas to force the Branch Davidians out of the compound. A fire broke out and quickly spread, killing 76 people, including the group’s leader David Koresh.
The Waco siege has been a source of controversy and debate, with some criticizing the FBI’s handling of the situation and others pointing to the illegal actions of the Branch Davidians as the cause of the tragedy. Today, on the 30th anniversary of the end of the siege, we remember the lives lost and the lessons learned from this tragic event.