A man in Texas killed five of his neighbors, including an 8-year-old child, after being told to stop shooting a gun in his yard
A man near Houston who was angered by a noise complaint for firing a gun in his yard late at night reportedly turned the gun on his neighbors, killing at least five people in “style of execution” shootings before fleeing the scene.
The incident happened around 11:30 p.m. Friday in Cleveland, Texas, located about 50 miles northeast of Houston. Three adults and a teenage boy were found dead at the scene, while an 8-year-old boy was pronounced dead after being taken to hospital, the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office said Saturday.
Two female victims were found in an upstairs bedroom, their bodies shielding two surviving children. “In my opinion, they were actually trying to take care of the babies and keep them alive,” San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers told local ABC News affiliate KTRK-TV. Three other people in the house were seriously injured.
The violence reportedly began after a noise complaint from a neighbor of the shooter, who was firing an AR-15 rifle in his yard. “One of the victims came out of the house and said, ‘Hey, we have a little baby trying to sleep,’ and the man said, ‘I’m going to shoot in my yard, do whatever I want in my own residence “, said Capers.
The shooter, a 39-year-old Mexican national identified as Francisco Oropeza, then drove to the neighbor’s house and opened fire, according to the sheriff. The victims were all shot in the head at close range, “almost the style of execution,” said Capers. The 10 people in the house, including four or five who had moved from Houston in recent days, were from Honduras.
Oropeza was known to fire a .223 caliber rifle, and authorities had previously received reports that he had fired the weapon in his yard. At least three weapons were found in his home. By Saturday morning, he was thought to be stuck in a wooded area about 10 to 12 miles from the crime scene, and officers were closing in on him, Capers said.
There have been at least 18 shootings in the United States this year in which four or more people were killed, according to a database maintained by The Associated Press and USA Today.
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