OAN Geraldyn Berry
UPDATED 1:18 PM – Monday, May 1, 2023
Francisco Oropesa, 38, is wanted by the police in Cleveland, Texas on suspicion for killing five people over a noise complaint. Governor Greg Abbott has put up $50,000, with the FBI adding $25,000 ($80,000 collectively) in reward money to capture the gunman following his Friday night escape, which authorities suspect he made on foot.
Oropesa was identified by the doorbell camera footage and by his identity card that the Mexican government issues to its nationals who reside abroad.
Authorities had been tracking Oropesa’s cell phone but found it abandoned along with some clothes on Saturday. Tracking dogs picked up a scent from the items, but the trail vanished.
“I can tell you right now, we have zero leads,” said James Smith, the FBI special agent.
The suspect, identified by United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement as Francisco Oropesa Perez-Torres, had entered the U.S. illegally. He had been deported by immigration officials at least four times, the first being in March 2009.
“At an unknown time and location, Perez-Torres unlawfully reentered the United States, and was apprehended and removed several more times by ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations in September 2009, January 2012, and July 2016,” a source said.
Sheriff Greg Capers of San Jacinto County said investigators have expanded their search beyond the location of the shooting.
The incident occurred after the suspect’s neighbors urged him to cease firing shots in his yard at odd hours of the night because a baby was attempting to fall asleep. Wilson Garcia and two other men had gone over to Oropesa’s yard around 10 to 20 minutes before Friday’s violence and had requested Oropesa to shoot on the opposite side of his land. When the suspect refused, Garcia said he would call the police.
A “harassment” call was made from Garcia’s household around 11:30 p.m. When police arrived, they found five people, three female and two males, the youngest being a nine-year-old boy, shot to death “almost execution style” at close range above the neck. At least five other people who were in the house at the time, were uninjured.
“I realized he was coming in our direction while armed with a rifle, so I tried to find something to defend myself with and found a machete,” Velazquez’s husband Jefrey Rivera said in an interview. “But by the time I found the machete, shots had already been fired.”
The victims have been identified as Hondurans Sonia Argentina Guzman, 25, and her nine-year-old son Daniel Enrique Laso, Diana Velazquez Alvarado, 21, Julisa Molina Rivera, 31, and Josué Jonatán Cáceres, 18.
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