Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms raid the Branch Davidian cult compound in Waco, Texas, prompting a gun battle in which four agents and six cult members are killed. The federal agents were attempting to arrest the leader of the Branch Davidians, David Koresh, on information that the religious sect was stockpiling weapons. A nearly two-month standoff ensued after the unsuccessful raid.
The roots of the confrontation between the federal government and the Branch Davidians went back 10 years before the Waco siege. In 1983, a young man named Vernon Howell showed up at the Mt. Carmel headquarters of the sect. Lois Roden and her son, George, were competing for leadership of the commune at the time. Lois had an affair with Howell, but died shortly thereafter. George Roden attempted to take charge of Mt. Carmel, but Howell challenged his leadership, claiming that he was the Lamb from Revelation, and that his children would be descended from God.
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