Search for Texas man wanted in mass shooting is empty



Oropeza is likely still carrying the AR-15 he allegedly used in the shooting, the sheriff said.

“He could be anywhere now,” Capers said.

The attack happened near the city of Cleveland, north of Houston, on a street where some residents say neighbors often relax by firing shots.

Capers said the victims range in age from 8 to 31 and are believed to be all from Honduras. All were shot “from the neck up”, he said.

The attack was the latest act of gun violence in what has been a record pace of mass shootings in the United States so far this year, some of which have also involved semi-automatic rifles.

The killings took place in a variety of locations – a school in Nashville, a bank in Kentucky, a dance hall in Southern California and now a rural Texas neighborhood in a one-story house.

Capers said there were 10 people in the house – some of whom had just moved in earlier in the week – but no one else was injured. He said two of the victims were found in a bedroom lying on top of two children in an apparent attempt to protect them.

A total of three children found covered in blood at home were taken to hospital but were not injured, Capers said.

FBI spokeswoman Christina Garza said investigators don’t believe everyone at the home is a single family member. The victims were identified as Sonia Argentina Guzman, 25; Diana Velazquez Alvarado, 21; Julia Molina Rivera, 31; Jose Jonathan Casarez, 18; and Daniel Enrique Laso, 8.

The confrontation followed neighbors walking to the fence and asking the suspect to stop shooting, Capers said. The suspect responded by telling them it was his property, Capers said, and someone in the house received video of the suspect walking to the front door with the gun.

The shooting took place on a pothole-riddled rural street where two-story homes sit on wide one-acre lots and are surrounded by a thick canopy of trees. A horse could be seen behind the victim’s house, while in the front yard of Oropeza’s house a dog and chickens roamed.

Rene Arevalo Sr., who lives a few houses away, said he heard gunshots around midnight but thought nothing of it.

“It’s a normal thing people do here, especially on Fridays after work,” Arevalo said. “They come home and start drinking in their garden and shooting there.”

Capers said his deputies had visited Oropeza’s home at least once before and talked to him about “shooting his gun in the yard.” It was unclear whether any action had been taken at the time. At a Saturday night press conference, the sheriff said shooting a gun at your own property could be illegal, but he didn’t say whether Oropeza had ever broken the law.

Capers said the newcomers to the home moved in from Houston earlier in the week, but he said he’s not sure if they plan to stay there.

In the United States since Jan. 1, there have been at least 18 shootings that have resulted in four or more deaths, according to a database maintained by The Associated Press and USA Today, in partnership with Northeastern University. Violence is triggered by a range of motives: murder-suicides and domestic violence; gang retaliation; school shootings; and vendettas in the workplace.

Texas has faced several mass shootings in recent years, including last year’s attack on Robb Elementary School in Uvalde; a racist attack at an El Paso Walmart in 2019; and a gunman opened fire on a church in the small town of Sutherland Springs in 2017.

Republican leaders in Texas have continually rejected calls for new gun restrictions, including this year following protests by several families whose children were killed in Uvalde.

A few months ago, Arevalo said Oropeza threatened to kill his dog after he escaped into the neighborhood and chased the pit bull in his truck.

“I tell my wife all the time, ‘Stay away from the neighbors. Don’t argue with them. You never know how they will react,” Arevalo said. “I’m telling him that because Texas is a state where you don’t know who has a gun and who’s going to react that way.”



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