Waco: American Apocalypse: How many people died during the Waco siege of 1993?

Waco: American Apocalypse. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023
Waco: American Apocalypse. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023 /

There’s a new Netflix docuseries out, true crime fans, and you won’t want to miss this one. Waco: American Apocalypse tells the story of the infamous siege that took place in Waco, Texas in 1993. The deadly event reached its 30th anniversary this year, making this a good time to learn about it if you aren’t familiar.

The siege, otherwise known now as just “Waco,” was a 51-day standoff between the government and a cult leader named David Koresh, who ran a Branch Davidian sect. After some suspicion that the group was stockpiling weapons illegally and were involved in child abuse, they decided to act. But the government could never expect what would happen next in the days to follow.

In Feb. 1993, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) arrived at the Mount Carmel compound to execute a search warrant, resulting in a three-hour gunfight that left five Branch Davidians and four federal agents dead. Following the gunfight, a 51-day standoff ensued, during which the FBI took over from the ATF. The FBI planned to use gas to drive the group out of the compound, but a fire broke out which proved to be fatal. The cause of the fire is still up for speculation.

Waco siege of 1993 deaths

So much happened within these 51 days, including children being transported out of the compound and people trying to negotiate with Koresh over the phone. And of course, when all was said and done, there were many, many deaths. So how many people, sadly, lost their lives during this tragic event? According to the docuseries, four federal agents and 82 Branch Davidians died during the standoff, including 28 children. So awful.

Did David Koresh die in the Waco siege of 1993?

Included in the group killed during the Waco siege was Koresh. After the fire burned down the compound, his body was found and identified by dental records. His cause of death was a gunshot wound to the forehead, though it hasn’t been disclosed who shot him. He was 33 when he died.

The Waco siege remains a controversial event to this day. Interested in learning more? All three episodes of Waco: American Apocalypse are now streaming on Netflix.

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