Law enforcement in Texas is looking for a man who allegedly killed five people, including an 8-year-old boy, after they asked him to stop shooting in his yard while their baby was sleeping.
According to San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers, officers were dispatched to a residence in the Cleveland, Texas, area about a harassment complaint at around 11:30 p.m. on Friday when they began to receive several 911 calls about an active shooter in that same area. When police arrived at the scene, what they found was horrific. They discovered four people were dead and one other in critical condition from multiple gunshot wounds.
An 8-year-old victim named Daniel Enrique Laso was later pronounced dead at the hospital. Police identified the other four victims as Sonia Argentina Guzman, 25; Diana Velazquez Alvarado, 21; Julisa Molina Rivera, 31; Jose Jonathan Casarez, 18. Heartbreaking…
Caspers told KTRK that the victims were shot from the neck up in an “almost execution style,” noting that there were 10 family members inside the home at the time of the attack. The other five family members survived, including three children. He also said to The Post that two of the women who were found on top of the kids in a bedroom were “trying to protect them.” Capers added:
“It’s horrific. No one should ever have to look at this scene, the blood, the trauma that went on in that house.”
Following the horrific discovery, the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office identified the suspect as 38-year-old Francisco Oropesa. As for what led to the tragedy? Per The Washington Post, Capers revealed that the victims went over to Oropesa’s home on Friday to ask him to stop shooting his AR-15-style weapon in his yard while their baby was trying to sleep. After their conversation, the family returned to their homes. But instead of respecting his neighbor’s request, he became angry. Authorities said they saw footage of an intoxicated Oropesa walking to their front door with the gun and going inside. That’s when he opened fire on the victims, killing half of them. Capers said:
“The neighbors walked over and said … ‘Hey man, can you not do that, we’ve got an infant in here trying to sleep’ or whatever. They went back in their house and then we have a video of him walking up their driveway with his AR-15.”
Now, Capers says Oropesa faces five counts of murder for the brutal slayings of the five people. He still unfortunately remains on the run as of Sunday afternoon. As NBC News reported, authorities said they had the shooter within a roughly 2-mile radius on Saturday. However, they believed Oropesa got away from them after they found his cell phone and clothing. Capers said:
“He could be anywhere now.”
FBI agent James Smith urged anyone who spots the suspect to call 911, adding:
“We consider him armed and dangerous. He is out there, and he’s a threat to the community.”
He noted on Sunday that police are “running into dead ends” and “have zero leads of him” at his time. Authorities are offering an $80,000 reward for information leading to his capture. More information can be seen (below):
We are keeping the victims family in our thoughts following this tragedy.
To learn more about the impact of gun violence, visit https://www.apha.org/topics-and-issues/gun-violence.
If you’re experiencing emotional distress related to incidents of mass violence, you can call or text the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or visit their website at https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/disaster-distress-helpline for more resources.
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