By Tony Farkas
The original story:
CLEVELAND — Area law enforcement agencies are conducting an extensive manhunt for a suspect in the multiple shooting deaths of a Cleveland family.
Francisco Oropeza, 38, has been accused of shooting and killing five people at a residence in the early morning hours of Saturday, April 29, in the 100 block of Walters Road in the Trails End area of Cleveland.
The victims are identified as Sonia Argentina Guzman, 25; Diana Velazquez Alvarado, 21; Julisia Molina Rivera, 31; Jose Jonathan Casarez, 18; and Daniel Enrique Laso Guzman, 8.
Lt. Charles Dougherty of the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office, said that Oropeza, a Mexican national, has been deported at least three times in the past, and also had been arrested for driving while intoxicated.
He also said that the victims are from Honduras, but authorities are not sure of their immigration status.
Doughtery said the shootings came after police received a harassment call; the victims reportedly asked the suspect to stop shooting firearms in his yard as the family was trying to sleep.
Reports indicate that night shift patrol deputies were responding to the harassment call when multiple 911 calls of an active shooter incident at that location were received.
Multiple deputies arrived at the residence and found the victims dead in the residence, and several other victims in critical condition, all suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.
Four people were confirmed dead inside of the residence; 8-year-old Daniel was pronounced dead later at the hospital after being transported via Allegiance Mobile Health.
The three other patients were transported to the hospital as well, but their status is not known at this time. There were two other people inside the residence that were evaluated on scene and released.
Montgomery County SWAT arrived to assist and cleared several properties adjacent to the crime scene and determined that the shooter had fled the scene.
Dougherty said that multiple weapons were removed from the home, and authorities have a weapon that fits the description of the murder weapon, but a .357 magnum was not found, leading police to believe that Oropeza still has it.
Dougherty said Oropeza is considered armed and dangerous; if spotted, do not approach or attempt to apprehend him, and contact local authorities immediately.
Currently, a command post has been set up in the area, and officers actively are investigating all tips.
District Judge John Wells has issued an arrest warrant for a first-degree felony murder charge for Oropeza and assigned a $5 million dollar bond.
Dougherty said that at this time, there is no idea where Oropeza might have gone.
Agencies involved in the investigation include Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Montgomery County Pct. 4 Constable’s Office, Splendora Police Department, Harris County Sheriff’s Office, United States Marshal’s Service Gulf Coast Violent Offenders Task Force, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Texas Office of the Inspector General, Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Rangers, Texas Department of Corrections K9 Tracking Division, and the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office Patrol and Criminal Investigations Divisions.
Multi County Crime Stoppers is offering a $50,000 reward for information, and the FBI is offering an additional $25,000.
On Sunday, Gov. Greg Abbott announced a $50,000 reward for Oropeza, who now is a Texas Department of Public Safety top 10 fugitive.
“Our hearts go out to the families and loved ones of the five victims that were taken in this senseless act of violence,” Abbott said. “I continue working with state and local officials to ensure they have all available resources to respond to this horrific crime. I thank the men and women in law enforcement who are tirelessly working to ensure this criminal is caught and brought to justice.”
The Governor also directed DPS Director Steve McCraw and Texas Military Department Adjutant General Thomas Suelzer to alert Operation Lone Star soldiers and troopers to be on the lookout for the criminal and any attempts to flee the country after taking the lives of five people.
If you have any tips or information, call Crime Stoppers at (936) 539-7867 or the Sheriff’s Office at (936) 653-4367. You can remain anonymous.