The search for a Texas man who allegedly shot his neighbors after they asked him to stop firing off rounds in his yard headed into a second day Sunday, and authorities saying the suspect ‘could be anywhere’ by now. The suspect, 38-year-old Francisco Oropeza, fled after the shooting on Friday night near the town of Cleveland (north of Houston) that left five people dead, including an 8-year-old boy.
San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers said that neighbors had asked the suspect to stop shooting his gun in the front yard because there was a baby trying to sleep. Oropeza, who allegedly had been drinking, responded, “I’ll do what I want to in my front yard.” Capers said all of the victims were shot from the neck up, “almost execution-style.”
Authorities had widened the search to as far as 20 miles (32 kilometers) from the scene of the shooting, adding that investigators found clothes and a phone while combing a rural area that includes dense layers of forest, but tracking dogs lost the scent. FBI Houston field office agent James Smith told reporters during a press briefing that the AR-15-style rifle that Oropeza allegedly used in the shootings was recovered, but believe he is likely armed with another AR-15-style rifle, and is a “threat to the community,”
FBI spokesperson Christina Garza said investigators believe the victims were from Honduras, and do not believe they were all members of a single family. The victims were identified as Sonia Argentina Guzman, 25; Diana Velazquez Alvarado, 21; Julisa Molina Rivera, 31; Jose Jonathan Casarez, 18; and Daniel Enrique Laso, 8.
Investigators describe Oropeza as a 5-foot-8 Hispanic man with a goatee and short black hair. He was last seen wearing jeans, a black shirt and work boots.
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