Shooting — Gun violence in the United States continues to escalate as another violent shooting occurred in Texas.
Another tragedy struck Cleveland, Texas, last weekend, when a shooter shot and murdered five people, including a nine-year-old kid.
More than 200 policemen from various law enforcement organizations have been dispatched to find the offender.
Officers are canvassing residents for information on the gunman’s whereabouts.
On Sunday afternoon, San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers claimed that officials are constructing signs in Spanish to alert the public of the hunt.
During a press conference on Sunday, FBI Houston Special Agent in Charge James Smith offered a $80,000 reward to obtain data leading to the arrest of the suspect.
Francisco Oropesa, 38, is accused of murdering four adults and a child at a nearby apartment on Friday night.
Investigators used his cell phone to track down Oropesa at first, but the trail went cold on Saturday evening.
“We don’t have any tips right now to where he may be and that’s why we’ve come up with this reward, so that hopefully somebody out there can call us,” said Smith.
“I can pretty much guarantee you, he’s contacted some of his friends.”
“We just don’t know what friends they are and that’s what we need from the public, is any type of information because right now we’re running into dead ends.”
Authorities declared their determination to find the offender so that the five victims might receive closure and justice.
On Saturday, the sheriff described the events surrounding the incident.
“The victims, they came over to the fence said, ‘Hey, could you mind not shooting out in the yard. We have a baby that is trying to sleep,'” said Capers.
Prior to responding, the suspect had been drinking: “I’ll do what I want to in my front yard.”
According to Capers, a doorbell camera at the victims’ home shows the man arriving with his weapon.
The house had been converted into a massacre when many dead were discovered in various rooms.
The victims include:
- Daniel Enrique Laso-Guzman, 9
- José Jonathan Cásarez, 18
- Diana Velázquez Alvarado, 21
- Sonia Argentina Gúzman, 25
- Julisa Molina Rivera, 31
Capers reports that five other people were there at the time of the incident but were unharmed.
Three toddlers were discovered bloodied but unhurt and sent to the hospital.
Authorities believe two women were killed while attempting to protect the surviving children.
“The three children… were covered in blood from the same ladies that were laying on top of them trying to protect them,” the sheriff said.
The children are now safe and under the care of relatives.
Authorities first said that the child was eight years old, but his father, Wilson Garcia, claims that he turned nine in January.
Details of the shooting
Garcia claimed that they called 911 five times that night to report the shooter.
On Sunday, Sheriff Capers noted that officials are responding as swiftly as possible while covering a broad region with minimal staff.
The filming location is more than 15 minutes out from town.
Garcia and two other men approached Oropesa and pleaded with him not to shoot so close to their home while their infant was sleeping.
He said that they encouraged him to shoot on the opposite side of his property.
Oropesa reappeared 10 to 20 minutes later, approaching the house and beginning to shoot.
Sonia Argentina Gzman, Garcia’s wife, was the first victim as she approached the front door.
Garcia left by jumping out a window, alleging that another woman pleaded with him to stay alive since his children had lost their mother and would want his assistance.
According to the sheriff, investigators had previously received complaints of Oropesa reportedly firing his revolver in the front yard.
Law enforcement spelled the shooter’s name “Oropeza” at first before changing it to “Oropesa” by the FBI to reflect his identity in law enforcement systems.
He was also found in many databases using both spellings, according to the FBI.
Following the shooting, Francisco Oropesa was known to use a.223 rifle, and fired rounds were discovered outside the apartment.
According to the sheriff, authorities discovered at least three guns in his house and spoke with his wife.
Oropesa’s cell phone and other pieces of clothing were later recovered and abandoned.
“The tracking dogs from Texas Department of Corrections picked up the scent, and then they lost that scent,” said Capers.
Authorities have no idea where the suspect is.
“If anybody, whether you are here in this county, or this state of Texas or around the country, have any tips, we’re asking you to please call,” said Smith and the FBI.
“Right now, we have zero leads.”
184 mass shootings happened in the United States during the first four months of 2023, according to the Gun Violence Archive.