Texas Shooting Leaves 5 Neighbors Killed By Suspect After Refusal To Stop Firing Rifle
A Mexican national is the suspected perpetrator of aTexas shooting leaves 5 neighbors killed by suspectlast Friday. According to San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers, the killings happened after one of the victims asked Francisco Oropeza, 39, to stop shooting his rifle late at night because a baby was trying to sleep.
Capers noted that Oropeza is "armed and dangerous" and "a threat to the community" during a press conference held on Saturday afternoon. The FBI, Texas Department of Corrections, and Texas Rangers are among the agencies that have joined the manhunt to find Oropeza, who could be anywhere.
The authorities have identified the victims as Sonia Argentina Guzman, 25; Daniel Enrique Laso, 8; Diana Velazquez Alvarado, 21; Julisa Molina Rivera, 31; and Jose Jonathan Casarez, 18.
According to the sheriff, the shooting took place in the Trails End area of Cleveland, about 50 miles north of Houston, just before midnight. Police responded to a call for harassment and multiple 911 calls about an active shooter at the same location. When they arrived, they found five people had been shot at the residence.
Texas mass shooting: 8-year-old among 5 killed by gunfire at Cleveland home | LiveNOW from FOX
The suspect, who was identified as a neighbor, had been firing an AR-15-style .223 caliber rifle in his yard before midnight. One of the victims came out of the house and asked him to stop because a baby was trying to sleep. However, Oropeza refused, saying, "I'll shoot out in my front yard, I do what I want to in my own residence," according to Casper.
Oropeza then walked up to the front door of his neighbor's house and began firing, killing four adults and an eight-year-old boy. Two women were found dead upstairs, shielding young children who survived and were taken to a hospital.
When police arrived, four people were pronounced dead at the scene, and an eight-year-old boy was airlifted to a local trauma center in critical condition. However, he died in the hospital later. Three other victims, who were children, were taken to the hospital "covered in blood." It was not clear if they were injured or if the blood belonged to the other victims.
Capers said that each victim had been shot in the head, and witnesses told investigators that Oropeza was drinking alcohol. He said that the victims were from Honduras and that ten people lived in the house.
"When we got here, the two females in the bedroom were actually laying over the top of the younger children, two of the three younger children" that survived, Capers said.
The shooter fled the county, and a SWAT unit from neighboring Montgomery County arrived to assist and cleared several properties near the crime scene.
The authorities confiscated a shotgun, two rifles, including the .223 caliber rifle, and a pistol from the victims' residence. A judge issued a warrant for the suspect's arrest and assigned a $5 million bond.
Capers told Fox NewsDigital that he is "praying" that the suspect will be in custody in the next two to four hours. He said that this was the first mass shooting incident with more than three victims his office has ever dealt with. "Nobody should ever have to witness this," Capers said. "Nobody should ever have to live through this."
The sheriff's office is withholding the identities of the victims until next of kin have been notified. Police are asking the public to avoid the area as there is still a heavy police presence.
The tragic incident shocked the community and served as a reminder of the importance of responsible gun ownership.
We ask people to take responsibility and to understand that their actions have consequences.- San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers