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The tragic shooting in Cleveland, Texas,
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Search Continues for Texas Man Suspected of Killing His Neighbors after Being Asked to Stop Firing His Rifle Outdoors

A tragic incident occurred in Cleveland, Texas, on Friday night when Francisco Oropeza, 38, allegedly opened fire on his neighbors, killing five people, including a child. The shooting occurred after the neighbors had requested that Oropeza stop shooting his rifle outdoors because a baby was trying to sleep. The San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers reported that Oropeza declined the request and later approached his neighbors’ front door with a rifle, where he was caught on footage from a doorbell camera.

Multiple people were found dead around the home in different rooms, including two female victims who authorities believe used their bodies to shield two young children who survived. The victims were identified as Sonia Argentina Gúzman, 25; Diana Velázquez Alvarado, 21; Julisa Molina Rivera, 31; José Jonathan Cásarez, 18; and Daniel Enrique Laso-Guzman, 8. Five other people who were home during the rampage were not hurt. Three children were found covered in blood and were taken to a hospital but were not injured, according to the sheriff.

The FBI is assisting in the search for Oropeza, and they consider him to be armed and dangerous, saying he’s out there and a threat to the community. Investigators initially began tracking Oropeza using his cell phone, but say the trail went cold Saturday evening. “He could be anywhere now,” Capers said in a Saturday news conference.

According to the sheriff, there had been previous calls for service about the suspect for shooting his rifle in the front yard. The suspect was known to shoot a .223 rifle, and shell casings were also found outside the home after the shooting.

“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 sleep,’” Capers said.

The suspect, who had been drinking, responded, “I’ll do what I want to in my front yard,” police said.

Deputies were already on their way to the home for a harassment complaint about 11:30 p.m. Friday when they got multiple 911 calls about an active shooter at the same location, according to the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office.

A SWAT team descended on the neighborhood, searching and clearing adjacent properties, and eventually determined that the gunman had fled the scene. Oropeza’s cell phone was found abandoned, along with articles of clothing. “The tracking dogs from Texas Department of Corrections picked up the scent, and then they lost that scent,” the sheriff said.

The attack joins a list of more than 170 mass shootings that have happened in the US so far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Both the news outlet WAXMIA and the archive define a “mass shooting” as a shooting that injured or killed four or more people, not including the shooter.

The victims in this incident were all Honduran, according to the Honduras director general of migrant protection, Wilson Paz. Honduras’ foreign minister, Enrique Reina, said on social media, “We demand that the full weight of the law be applied against those who are responsible for this crime,” adding that the Honduran consulate in Houston is making contact with the families of the victims as it learns more about the investigation.

In conclusion, this tragedy highlights the need for responsible gun ownership and for individuals to respect their neighbors’ rights to safety and peace. It is also a sobering reminder of the ongoing issue of gun violence in the United States and the need for effective measures to address it.

Mr. A Maroof


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