Illegal Texas Immigrant Kills 5 Neighbors

Category: Crime News

The suspected ”armed and dangerous” Texas man wanted for fatally shooting five neighbors, including an 8-year-old boy, is an illegal immigrant who “could be anywhere now,’’ officials said over the weekend.

Several hundred law-enforcement officers led by the FBI were desperately employing drones, dogs and horseback searchers to comb through the thick forests around the town of Cleveland, where Friday night’s heinous crime occurred.

Authorities also were going door to door Sunday searching for clues about suspected gunman Francisco Oropesa, a 38-year-old married dad from Mexico who is still on the run after allegedly going berserk and unleashing the horror.

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Oropesa, who is in the US illegally, was previously deported “multiple’’ times because he lacked legal residency status, Fox News reported Sunday. His last encounter with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement was in 2016, the outlet said.

“We do not know where he is,” James Smith, the FBI’s special agent in charge, said Sunday.​

“We have zero leads.” 

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Local San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers said late Saturday that authorities had widened their hunt for Oropesa to at least 20 miles from Cleveland, which is about 45 miles north of Houston.

“We are tracking him with dogs and men on horseback and drones in the air,” Capers said.

“He could be anywhere now,” the sheriff acknowledged, noting that Oropesa is considered “armed and dangerous.”

The drunken Oropesa allegedly “executed” his victims with an AR-15-style rifle after the residents asked him to stop firing off rounds in his yard because they had a baby sleeping next-door.

“We asked him to be quiet ‘cause my baby was scared,” said distraught Wilson Garcia, one of the residents, to the local KTRK-TV affiliate, through a Spanish translator.

Garcia, whose infant is 1 month old, said his wife, Sonia Argentina Guzman, 25, and his 8-year-old boy, Daniel Enrique Lazo, were both shot dead.

“We had company. We were going to make something to eat. The guy, came out, and he was shooting,” the father said.

“I never thought that he would shoot,’’ Garcia said of Oropesa. “Then he went room to room, looking for people.’’

Oropesa fled after the shooting and is believed to be on foot or a bicycle.

Authorities recovered a phone and clothing while searching surrounding forests for the suspect, who they at first thought they had cornered, Capers has said. But police dogs then lost the scent.

Cops also found the assault rifle that Oropesa is accused of using for his bloodbath, but he still may be carrying other weapons, officials said. There were other weapons found in his home, the sheriff said.

Neighbors were being asked Sunday if their properties could be searched, and local vehicles were being stopped, as the manhunt for the married dad ramped up and authorities offered an $80,000 reward for information leading to the suspect.​

Oropesa’s wife also was questioned, authorities said. Officials initially gave Oropesa’s last name as Oropesa but have since corrected it.

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