Listen to this article Texas Manhunt Concludes As Suspect Allegedly Responsible For Killing 5 Neighbors Discovered Concealed In Laundry Pile
AR-15 rifle shooting kills five neighbors in Texas; suspect arrested after four-day manhunt
On Friday night in Cleveland, Texas, a man armed with an AR-15 rifle shot and killed five of his neighbors. The suspect, Francisco Oropesa, led law enforcement officers, the FBI, and an $80,000 reward on a four-day manhunt, which ended on Tuesday with his arrest in Cut and Shoot, a nearby city. Also the victims were identified as Daniel Enrique Laso, aged 9; Sonia Argentina Guzman, aged 25; Diana Velazquez Alvarado, aged 21; Julisa Molina Rivera, aged 31; and Jose Jonathan Casarez, aged 18, all believed to be from Honduras.
Tip leads authorities to arrest the suspect in Cut and Shoot
Officials reported that a tip called into an FBI line at 5:15 p.m. on Tuesday led to Oropesa’s arrest at 6:30 p.m. the same day.
A massive manhunt involving more than 250 law enforcement officers, the FBI, and a reward of $80,000 for information ended with the arrest of Oropesa in a house less than 20 miles from where the crimes took place.
They found him hiding in a closet underneath some laundry. He is facing five counts of murder and is being held on $5 million bond.
Cowardly suspect kills neighbors after they ask him to stop shooting
According to officials, Oropesa started shooting after a member of the family asked him to stop firing his rifle because an infant was trying to sleep. Wilson Garcia’s wife asked him to go to Oropesa’s residence and ask whether he would stop shooting or shoot somewhere else. The request didn’t seem unreasonable, Garcia said, as they’d been on good terms with Oropesa. But Oropesa responded by saying he was in his property and could do whatever he wants. He then insulted them when they said they were calling the police, and started shooting.
Medical professionals pronounced the victims dead at the scene, except for Daniel, who passed away at a hospital. Two women are believed to have saved three other children in the home by draping their bodies over them.
Suspect’s past violence and immigration status
Oropesa’s wife filed a protective order against him last year alleging he beat her.
She reported that he had hit her with a closed fist, kicked her while she was on the floor, and threatened her while being under the influence of alcohol. The San Jacinto County District Attorney, Todd Dillon, stated that Oropesa had illegally re-entered Texas after being deported from the U.S. four times. Officials have not released any information about the location of Oropesa’s residence and have stated that the investigation is ongoing.
End of manhunt brings relief to grieving community
The killings were “an atrocious crime that devastated this community and this country,” said Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal Joe Ruiz de Chavez. The suspect’s arrest brought an end to a tragedy that left the small community of Cleveland, Texas, in shock and grief. However, the victims’ families will continue to mourn their loss, and the community will need time to heal from the trauma.
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