() — A massive manhunt is still underway in Texas, involving more than 250 law enforcement officers from more than a dozen agencies searching for the man suspected of shooting and killing five of his neighbors, including a young child, after that he was asked to stop firing his rifle near his home, authorities say.
Wilson Garcia told that he and two other people walked to the suspect’s home in Cleveland, Texas, last Friday night to ask him to fire his gun across their yard because the deafening gunshots were making the baby cry. from Garcia.
But the suspect, identified by police as Francisco Oropesa, 38, refused, Garcia said. Police were called five times to report the neighbor’s activities, he said, but by the time he arrived on the scene, it was too late.
Oropesa had already forced his way into the house where the father was staying, first shooting García’s wife, Sonia Argentina Guzmán, in the doorway before shooting three other adults and García’s son, Daniel Enrique Laso Guzmán, from 9 years, said the father.
Oropesa had been drinking that night, San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers said.
Garcia said she fled the home after a woman inside told her her two other children needed her to survive. That woman was also killed by Oropesa, he said.
“(She) saw when my wife fell to the ground and was dying, and she told me to throw myself out the window because my children were already without their mother,” Garcia said.
When the police arrived at the house, they found that the victims had been shot. “almost execution style” from the neck up, Capers told local media.
Authorities identified the other victims as Diana Velázquez Alvarado, 21; Julisa Molina Rivera, 31 years old; and José Jonathan Cásarez, 18. Although authorities previously reported that Daniel Enrique Laso-Guzmán was 8 years old, García said his son turned 9 in January.
Now, Oropesa, a Mexican national, could be anywhere as investigators have no indication of his whereabouts and are rapidly approaching dead ends in his search, FBI Special Agent in Charge Houston James Smith said in a press conference this Sunday.
A collective reward of US$80,000 is being offered for information leading to the suspect’s arrest while authorities seek justice for the victims, who were all Honduran citizens, and safety for the surrounding community.
“We consider him armed and dangerous,” Smith said. “He’s out there and he’s a threat to the community.”
‘Could be anywhere’: Search continues for Texas man suspected of killing neighbors after asking him to stop firing his rifle outside
Extensive search has ‘zero leads’, says FBI official
With FBI Special Agent Smith saying there were “zero leads” to Oropesa’s whereabouts as of Sunday afternoon, investigators are making strenuous efforts to uncover information.
Authorities had been tracking Oropesa’s cell phone but found it abandoned on Saturday, along with some clothing, according to Capers. And while the sniffer dogs were able to pick up the scent of the items, they later lost it, he said.
Law enforcement officers have been going door to door looking for security camera footage or any other information residents may have, Sheriff Capers said.
The hefty reward for Oropesa’s arrest will also be advertised on Spanish-language billboards that will be set up in the area urging the public to submit tips, the sheriff said.
“I can guarantee you that he has contacted some of his friends,” Smith said. “We just don’t know which friends they are, and that’s what we need from the public, any kind of information.”
Oropesa’s wife has been interviewed multiple times and is in “constant contact” with investigators, the sheriff said.
The bodies of the victims will be repatriated to Honduras
After authorities confirmed that those killed were all Honduran citizens, the Honduran Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it is preparing to repatriate their remains.
“The Government of Honduras deeply regrets the loss of these valuable lives and accompanies all their loved ones in their pain. We demand that the pertinent authorities arrest the perpetrator of this terrible act and apply the full weight of the law,” the agency said in a statement.
Garcia, whose wife and son were killed, told there were 15 people in the home at the time of the shooting. Authorities previously said there were 10 present.
This Sunday, Capers was moved when talking about Daniel Enrique Laso-Guzman.
“My heart goes out to this eight-year-old boy,” Capers said. “I don’t care if he was here legally. I don’t care if he was here illegally. He was in my county. Five people died in my county, and that’s where my heart is: in my county, protecting my people as best we can.”
— ‘s Marlon Sorto, Ashley Killough, David Williams, Rosa Flores, Claudia Dominguez, Raja Razek, Michelle Watson, Andy Rose, Keith Allen, Christina Maxouris, Holly Yan and Nouran Salahieh contributed to this report.