Five people are dead after being shot in a Texas home by a suspect armed with an AR-15 style rifle in a horrific series of “execution style” shootings.
A manhunt is currently underway for the suspect, identified by the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office as 38-year-old Francisco Oropeza. The FBI’s Houston Field Office said it is assisting in the ongoing search.
A judge has issued an arrest warrant for Oropeza and assigned a $5 million bond. He is believed to have fled the county and is considered armed and dangerous, authorities said.
Neighbors asked suspect to stop shooting his gun in the yard:
Police said the incident occurred at 11:31 p.m. local time on Friday when officials from the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office received a call about harassment in the town of Cleveland, about 55 miles north of Houston.
When authorities arrived at the location, they found several victims shot at the property. Three of the deceased were females and two were males, including the youngest, an 8-year-old boy.
Two female victims were discovered in the bedroom lying on top of two surviving children.
Three minors were located uninjured, but covered in blood. They were transported to a local hospital.
“My understanding is that the victims, they came over to the fence and said, ‘Hey could [you not do your] shooting out in the yard? We have a young baby that’s trying to go to sleep,’ and he had been drinking and he says, ‘I’ll do what I want to in my front yard,'” San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers.
Police said the shootings all took place in one home, the victims were all from Honduras and that four of the victims were declared dead at the scene. The fifth victim — an 8-year-old boy — was taken to a hospital and has since been pronounced dead.
All of the victims were shot from the neck up “almost execution style.
Footage from a Ring doorbell at the victims’ house shows the shooter entering the home where the shooting took place with a weapon. The suspect was believed to be intoxicated at the time.
Police identified the five people who were killed as Sonia Argentina Guzman, 25; Diana Velazquez Alvarado, 21; Julisa Molina Rivera, 31; Jose Jonathan Casarez, 18; and Daniel Enrique Laso, 8.
He said earlier that all were from Honduras, and had recently moved into this home.
Suspect believed to be armed
FBI Agent James Smith with the Houston Field Office said the suspect is considered armed and dangerous and a “threat to the community.”
Capers said they believe they have the weapon used in the attack and that they do not know if the suspect is carrying a smaller weapon. Amid the manhunt they found his cell phone “abandoned” and several articles of clothing, but search dogs have lost his scent.
Deputies describe Oropeza as a Hispanic man who is 5-foot-8. He was last seen wearing jeans, a black shirt and work boots. Investigators said he has a goatee and short black hair.
Police said the suspect “has been known to shoot his .223 out in his front yard, which is evident by the shell casings that are laying in the front yard.”
The shooter used a .223 rifle in the shooting. Capers could not confirm how many times his deputies had been called to the shooter’s property previously.
Police found two other weapons in the house in a search following the shooting. Capers also confirmed they are interviewing the shooter’s wife.
Authorities are offering an $80,000 reward for information leading to the suspect’s capture, they announced Sunday.
The state of Texas is offering $50,000 of the total reward money, and Multi-County Crime Stoppers, a local nonprofit organization, is offering $5,000 more. The FBI is offering another $25,000, Smith said.
Smith said Sunday that authorities are “running into dead ends” as he appealed to the public to share any relevant information.
“Right now, we have zero leads of him,” he added.
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