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Cleveland shooting: 5 killed in rampage identified as shooter Francisco Oropeza still at large

Francisco Oropeza was apparently shooting a rifle in his yard when neighbors asked him to stop because a baby was trying to sleep
UPDATED APR 30, 2023
Francisco Oropeza killed five people in a Texas home after they complained of gunfire (Screenshot/ KHOU11 YouTube, San Jacinto County Sheriff's Office)
Francisco Oropeza killed five people in a Texas home after they complained of gunfire (Screenshot/ KHOU11 YouTube, San Jacinto County Sheriff's Office)

CLEVELAND, TEXAS: The five family members who were left dead in a Cleveland, Texas, home around 11.30 pm on Friday, April 28, after a fatal shooting by their neighbor Francisco Oropeza have been identified by authorities. The deceased victims were named Sonia Argentina Guzman, 25, Diana Velazquez Alvarado, 21, Julisa Molina Rivera, 31, Jose Jonathan Casarez, 18, and Daniel Enrique Laso-Guzman, 8.

The shooting took place after the family, a total of 10 individuals living together, asked Oropeza, a 38-year-old Mexican man living in Texas, to stop practicing firing his gun in his yard as they were having difficulty putting a baby to sleep. San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers said “The victims, they came over to the fence said, ‘Hey, could you mind not shooting out in the yard. We have a young baby that is trying to go to sleep.’” In response, Oropeza replied, “I’ll do what I want to in my front yard” before shooting five members of the family with an AR-15 and fleeing the scene.


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Who were the victims of the shooting?

The victims of the shooting that took place at a family home in Cleveland, Texas, on Friday, April 28, have been identified as 31-year-old Julisa Molina Rivera, 25-year-old Sonia Argentina Guzman, 21-year-old Diana Velazquez Alvarado, 18-year-old Jose Jonathan Casarez, and 8-year-old Enrique Laso-Guzman, according to CNN. Officials said that all of the victims were from Honduras, the publication reported.

Authorities reportedly found the victims after initially receiving and responding to the harassment report, the outlet noted. A doorbell camera at the victims’ home captured the suspect approaching with his rifle. Oropeza, who was known for firing his gun in his yard, was reportedly intoxicated at the time. Sheriff Capers said that the victims were shot above the neck at close range in an “almost execution style” attack.

Oropeza reportedly shot multiple people around the residence. Upon arriving at the scene, police found two adult women dead at the front of the house and a deceased man in the living room. The women were covered in blood and lying on top of two young children who survived. “In my opinion, they were actually trying to take care of the babies and keep them babies alive,” Capers shared. It remains unclear where the eight-year-old child was in the house before being shot.

‘He could be anywhere now’

In the wake of the shooting, officials found shell casings outside the home of the victims and discovered three weapons inside the house of the suspect. Oropeza was reportedly known to shoot a .223 rifle, according to Capers. Officers also tracked down the suspect using his cell phone but the trail went cold on Saturday, April 29, after they found the device abandoned alongside articles of clothing.

“The tracking dogs from Texas Department of Corrections picked up the scent, and then they lost that scent,” Capers said. “He could be anywhere now,” he added. The FBI’s Houston field office also said they are providing assistance in the manhunt, CNN noted. “We consider him armed and dangerous,” FBI special agent in charge James Smith said in a statement. “He’s out there, and he’s a threat to the community,” he added.


‘Wake up America’

The shooting incident left several people shocked and many took to Facebook to share their reactions to the tragedy. “USA USA USA .. GUNS GUNS GUNS” one user exclaimed. “They'll never learn,” added another. “This is unpleasant,” a third wrote. One user explained “I remember when my neighbors angered me so much that I marched into my house to get my semi-automatic assault rifle, only after entering my house i realized that i live in a country with strict gun laws so it dawned on me i didn't own an assault rifle because we are not allowed to have them. The result was i calmed down, no neighbors got shot, no child mourned their parents or loved one's and im not sitting on death row waiting for death by lethal injection! Wake up America” while another added “And yet Americans will still say its a right to have a gun for protection. The only ones condoning a right to a gun are the nutters shooting others as why would you not want to save the innocent victims.”

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