Texas shooting suspect found hiding in closet under laundry days after five killed over noise complaint

Francisco Oropesa, 38, was arrested in the city of Cut and Shoot, Texas, after being on run since Friday night

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Wednesday 03 May 2023 03:42 BST
Five dead, including eight-year-old, in Texas shooting

The gunman accused of shooting dead five neighbours in Texas after they made a noise complaint against him has been captured hiding in a closet under laundry after four days on the run.

Francisco Oropesa, 38, was arrested in the city of Cut and Shoot, Texas, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office confirmed on Tuesday evening.

Authorities said that Mr Oropesa was found hiding under laundry in a closet at his sister’s house that had been previously searched following a fresh tip to an FBI tip line, reported The Houston Chronicle.

Officials say that he was arrested without incident at around 7pm CT at the address on Summer Hollow Drive. Task force agents moved on the home after a tip was received on the FBI tip line.

“On Tuesday, May 2, 2023, at about 7.00pm, Francisco Oropesa, who was wanted in connection with shooting that occurred in Cleveland, Texas, was taken into custody in Montgomery County without incident. We would like to thank all local, state, and federal agencies who collaborated in this effort,” MCSO said in a statement.

The San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office said that after being processed Mr Oropesa would be brought back to their jail and held on a $5m bond.

Officials say that a woman, who has not been identified, was also detained at the scene.

The suspect had been on the run since the horrific attack in Cleveland, Texas, on Friday night and earlier on Tuesday authorities had intensified their search near the border with Mexico.

In total, five victims – Sonia Argentina Guzman, Daniel Enrique Laso-Guzman, Diana Velazquez Alvarado, Julisa Molina Rivera and Jose Jonathan Casarez – were killed in the shooting which began when the family living next door asked Mr Oropesa if he could stop firing his gun because their baby was trying to sleep.

Survivors said they called the police multiple times before the shooting occurred, leading to criticism about local authorities’ initial response time.

The youngest victim, nine-year-old Daniel, was friends with Mr Oropesa’s son who is about the same age, according to new reports.

Mr Oropesa, allegedly an undocumented immigrant from Mexico according to Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s office, had been apprehended and removed from the US several times, according to an unnamed source within US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

A state trooper vehicle passes a posted wanted sign for the mass shooting suspect
A state trooper vehicle passes a posted wanted sign for the mass shooting suspect (AP)

According to the source, Mr Oropesa, whose full name is reportedly Francisco Oropesa Perez-Torres, was first removed by an immigration judge in March 2009.

Mr Oropesa is said to have reentered the United States but was removed again in September 2009, January 2012 and July 2016, according to the report.

The Honduran Foreign Ministry has said that the bodies of the Honduran nationals killed in the shooting will be repatriated to the country.

“The Government of Honduras deeply regrets the loss of these valuable lives and accompanies all their loved ones in their pain,” the statement said.

“We demand that the pertinent authorities arrest the perpetrator of this terrible event and apply the full weight of the law.”

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