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Deaths of Bikers in Waco Shootout Leave Families Reeling

Some of relatives say that not all the victims were lawless drug dealers, armed to the teeth and ready for trouble.

Behind the wild story of Sunday's fatal Texas shootout between biker gangs and police are the families mourning nine men who died.

Some of those relatives said that not all the victims were lawless drug dealers, armed to the teeth and ready for trouble.

That includes Skyi Rhyne, the 18-year-old daughter of Jacob Lee Rhyne, 39, one of several members of the Cossacks killed in the firefight outside a Waco sports bar.

She remembered him as a fun-loving, devoted father of two who had to be persuaded to change out of his pajamas to take a photo with her before prom last month.

"He was always there with a smile, high five and a great big hug,” Skyi Rhyne told NBC News.

Waco shooting victim Jacob Rhyne, 39, with his daughter, Skyi.Family photo

She wept as she thought of walking across the stage for her high school graduation next week.

“He asked me if I wanted to for a ride on his motorcycle afterwards to celebrate,” Skyi Rhyne said. “I said, 'Yes' because I love him.”

Her mother, Rocki Hughes, said she's still trying to process what happened.

Jacob Rhyne, who lived in Ranger, Texas, had only started riding with the Cossacks in the last six months and didn't own a gun, Hughes said.

“I cannot see Jake going there if he knew there was going to be trouble," she said. "Our kids were too important.”

She called the shooting an "ambush" of Cossacks. But investigators are still trying to sort out who killed whom.

Police say the gunfight was sparked by a brawl at a Twin Peaks sports bar that was hosting a meeting of biker group representatives. Members of the Bandidos, one of the nation's largest biker gangs with a large presence in Texas, confronted members of the Cossacks, a smaller, regional gang. When some started shooting, officers returned fire, striking an undetermined number of bikers.

In addition to Rhyne, the others who died were identified by authorities as Richard Vincent Kirshner Jr., 47; Wayne Lee Campbell, 43; Daniel Raymond Boyett, 44; Charles Wayne Russell, 46; Jesus Delgado Rodriguez, 65; Richard Matthew Jordan II, 31; Manuel Issac Rodriguez, 40; and Matthew Mark Smith, 27.

Rodriguez' son, Vincent Ramirez, 42, said his father was "in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Waco shooting victim Jesus Rodriguez, 65, with an unidentified woman.Family photo

The Vietnam veteran was a retired tradesman from New Braunfels, Texas, who had seven children and 19 grandchildren, Ramirez said. Rodriguez was associated with Bandidos but was not an official “patched” member of the club, his son said.

"He was an independent. He got invited to the meeting," Ramirez said. "He's been invited to a lot of runs — all the charity runs."

Ramirez said his father "never carried any kind of weapons. He didn't even wear colors or anything like that. He used to carry a small pocket knife but he was told he couldn't bring it into a convention once, so he stopped carrying, even that."

Debra Boyett, sister-in-law of Daniel Boyett, said he owned a trucking company with his second wife, Nina. She last saw him a few years ago. She said she was shocked by news of his death at a biker melee.

“I never thought he was in motorcycle gang because he was a sweet man," she said. “When we were in Waco and our car was messed up, he paid to have it fixed. He just helped everybody.”

Daniel Boyett and his wife.Family photo

—with Tracy Connor and Jon Schuppe