A Texas man accused of killing five neighbors, including one eight-year-old child, is an illegal immigrant who has been deported four times.
On Friday, Francisco Oropesa, 38, allegedly killed five of his neighbors in Cleveland, Texas after one of them asked him to stop shooting his assault-style rifle late at night.
A survivor of the massacre, Wilson Garcia, said that they asked Oropesa to stop firing because the noise from the gunfire scared his 1-month-old baby. Later, Oropesa entered his neighbor’s home and opened fire on the innocent people inside.
The victims of the shooting are Sonia Argentina Guzman, 25, Diana Velazquez Alvarado, 21, Julisa Molina Rivera, 31, Jose Jonathan Casarez, 18, and Daniel Enrique Laso, 8.
According to San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers, all five victims were shot “execution style” from the neck up.
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According to officials, two female victims were found in a bedroom laying on top of two surviving children, seeming to have jumped on top of them to shield them from the gunfire.
At a vigil that was held for the victims on Sunday, Garcia said, “I don’t have words to describe what happened… Two people died protecting my 2-and-a-half-year-old daughter and my month-and-a-half-old son. They protected him with a pile of clothes so the killer wouldn’t kill them, too.”
The murder suspect is a Mexican national and, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), he has been deported from the U.S. four times since 2009.
He was also convicted of driving while intoxicated and sentenced to jail in January 2012 in Montgomery County, Texas.
A manhunt is currently underway for Oropesa, but law enforcement’s trail went cold by Sunday. Officials are offering an $80,000 reward for any information that leads to the suspect’s capture.
“We do not know where he is,” admitted FBI Houston Special Agent in Charge James Smith. “Right now, we have zero leads.”
Smith also warned that Oropesa may be armed and is a “threat to the community.”
On Tuesday, FBI Houston tweeted a plea to the public for information on Oropesa’s whereabouts, accompanied by photographs of the suspect. They wrote, “Francisco Oropesa could be anywhere. The FBI is working with law enforcement agencies across the state, country and across the border. We’re leaving no stone unturned.”
Francisco Oropesa could be anywhere. The FBI is working with law enforcement agencies across the state, country and across the border. We're leaving no stone unturned. If anyone has any photos or security camera video they'd like law enforcement to see, please call 1-800-CALL-FBI pic.twitter.com/0SpHS1ztoY
— FBI Houston (@FBIHouston) May 2, 2023