The man accused of killing five neighbours in a rural Texas home was taken into custody on Tuesday, May 2, after a four-day search.
The hunt for 38-year-old Francisco Oropeza began on Friday, April 28, after he fled from the scene of the deadly shooting in the rural town of Cleveland, about 45 miles north of Houston.
The shooting happened after Oropeza’s neighbours asked him to stop firing off rounds in his yard because a baby was trying to sleep. The baby’s mother and 9-year-old brother were among the five people killed.
The victims, all immigrants from Honduras, were identified as Diana Velazquez Alvarado, 21; Julisa Molina Rivera, 31; Sonia Argentina Guzman, 25; Jose Jonathan Casarez, 18; and Daniel Enrique Laso, 9.
Law enforcement believed Oropeza fled on foot. They found clothes and a cellphone in the area around the home, which includes a dense forest, Capers said.
Though officials recovered the AR-15-style rifle used in the attack, they said Oropeza should be considered armed and dangerous. Oropeza had been deported four times since 2009, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said. The FBI Houston office said it’s spelling the suspect’s last name as “Oropesa” instead of “Oropeza” “to better reflect his identity in law enforcement systems.”
Mr Oropeza was arrested without incident not far from the site of the shooting, Sheriff Henderson said. Acting on a tip, authorities said they found the suspect hiding underneath a pile of laundry in the closet of a house.
Police had used drones and scent-tracking dogs during the wide search for Mr Oropeza that included combing a heavily wooded forest a few miles from the scene.
Oropeza will be transported back to the San Jacinto County jail and held on a $5 million bond.
Leave a Reply