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Mexican national wanted in deadly Texas shooting of 5 neighbors 'could be anywhere,' sheriff says

Francisco Oropeza, a Mexican national accused of shooting five neighbors in Cleveland, Texas, remains at large and "could be anywhere." FBI is assisting.

The Mexican national wanted in the execution-style shooting of five of his neighbors in Texas remained at large more than 24 hours later Sunday morning and "could be anywhere" by now. 

Francisco Oropeza, 38, should be considered armed and dangerous, and FBI Houston warns anyone who might spot him not to approach and instead dial 911. 

Oropeza is accused of shooting and killing five neighbors, including an 8-year-old child, in the 100 block of Walters Road in the Trails End area of Cleveland, Texas. 

At the most recent press conference Saturday evening, San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers said all future updates would come from the FBI. 


"He could be anywhere now," Capers said, explaining how investigators have widened their permitter from about 5 or 6 square miles to "as much as 10 or 20 depending on whether or not he crossed the highline wire." Authorities found an abandoned cell phone and articles of clothing lying around, and tracking dogs from the Texas Department of Correction "picked up a scent and then … lost that scent in the water," according to the sheriff. 

The deceased victims have been identified as Sonia Argentina Guzman, 25; Daniel Enrique Laso Guzman, 8; Diana Velazquez Alvarado, 21; Julisa Molina Rivera, 31; and Jose Jonathan Casarez, 18. Capers detailed how the suspect was known to shoot his AR-15 Style 223 outside his home, as evidenced by the number of shell casings in the yard. 

On the night of the massacre, Oropeza allegedly did so again before midnight, prompting a next-door neighbor to step outside and explain how people were trying to get an infant to bed. 

The suspect said something along the lines of, "It’s his property, he’ll do whatever he pleased on his property," according to the sheriff. 

"The man went back into the house. Next thing they know, he’s walking up the driveway with rifle in hand," Capers said. 

The sheriff told KPRC that Oropeza, a Mexican man, was identified through video showing the suspect going up to his neighbors' door and by a Mexican consulate card. 

A total of ten people were inside the home when the suspect entered. Five of those victims died, and another five were not physically injured, Capers said. 


The sheriff said two women were found lying on top of three surviving children who were "covered in blood" and taken to the hospital, where it was discovered they had been unharmed. 

Wilson Garcia, a survivor who reportedly owns the home where the shooting unfolded, told KTRK he was the one who stepped outside because his 1-month-old was trying to sleep. 

"We had company. We were going to make something to eat, the guy, came out, and he was shooting. We asked him to be quiet 'cause my baby was scared," Garcia said via a translator. He recalled telling Oropeza that he would call the police, but before he could do so, the suspect came to his front door and shot his wife, Sonia, where she was standing. 

"I never thought that he would shoot. Then he went room to room, looking for people," Garcia said. "He couldn't catch up to me. The bullets were hitting (everywhere)."

"The FBI has brought in investigative resources, tactical and victim services resources to assist in this investigation. We will be here until we are no longer needed to include when the subject is arrested," James Smith, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Houston Field Office, told reporters Saturday night. "We’re still out there trying to find this individual. We consider him armed and dangerous. And we’re not going to stop until we actually arrest him and bring him into custody. But he is out there, and he is a threat to the community." 

"So I don’t want anyone to think something different than that. He is a threat to the community, and we need the community’s help to hopefully locate him and soon and take him off the streets tonight. But however, I will say this, we do not ask the community to take the matters into their own hands. Please call 911 if you happen to see this individual out there." 

A judge has issued an arrest warrant for the suspect and already assigned a $5 million bond for when he's taken into custody. 

Night shift patrol deputies had been initially dispatched to the residence in reference to a harassment complaint. While en route, the communications center received multiple 911 calls of an active shooter incident at the dispatched location. Multiple deputies arrived at the residence and located four people deceased at the home. 

The eight-year-old child was airlifted to the hospital, where he was declared deceased. The victims are reportedly said to have been from Honduras.

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