(CNN) — A gunman remains at large after he allegedly fatally shot five people, including an 8-year-old boy, at a Cleveland, Texas home, following a riot Friday night that began with a gunshot noise complaint, according to the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office.
The suspect, identified as 38-year-old Francisco Oropeza, was apparently firing a rifle in his yard when neighbors asked him to stop because a baby was trying to sleep, San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers said. The suspect then opened fire on the neighbors, according to Capers.
Authorities found the victims Friday night after receiving a harassment report around 11:30 p.m. local time, the sheriff said.
“The victims, they came up to the fence and said, ‘Hey, would you mind not shooting in the yard? We have a little baby who is trying to sleep,” Capers said.
The suspect, who had been drinking, responded: “I’ll do whatever I want in my front yard.”
A doorbell camera at the victims’ home at some point captured the suspect approaching with his rifle, Capers reported.
Multiple people were shot around the residence, according to Capers. Two female victims in a bedroom used their bodies to protect two young children who survived, she added.
“They were trying to take care of the babies and keep them alive,” Capers said of the victims.
The victims were shot above the neck at close range, “almost execution style,” according to Capers.
The deceased were identified as Sonia Argentina Gúzman, 25 years old; Diana Velazquez Alvarado, 21; Julisa Molina Rivera, 31; Jose Jonathan Casarez, 18; and Daniel Enrique Laso-Guzman, 8.
“I could be anywhere now”
Investigators tracked Oropeza on his cell phone, but the trail vanished late Saturday, according to local police.
“He could be anywhere right now,” San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers said during a news conference.
Authorities traced Oropeza’s cell phone but found it abandoned, along with items of clothing, according to the sheriff. “Texas Department of Corrections sniffer dogs picked up the scent and then lost it,” Capers said.
The FBI field office in Houston reported on Twitter that it is assisting in the manhunt.
“We consider him armed and dangerous,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge James Smith. “He’s out there and he’s a threat to the community.”
Authorities said they had received previous reports of the suspect firing a rifle in his yard.
The suspect was known to have fired a .223 rifle, according to Capers. The bullet casings were discovered outside the house. At least three weapons were found in the suspect’s home. Investigators said they spoke with the suspect’s wife.
Authorities said they believe Oropeza is no longer in the area.
A local judge issued an arrest warrant for the suspect.
More than 170 mass shootings in the US this year
There have been at least 174 mass shootings in the US so far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Both CNN and the file define a “mass shooting” as an incident that injured or killed four or more people, not including the shooter.
“It’s not just banks, schools, grocery stores or churches where Americans fear they are victims of a mass shooting,” Kris Brown, president of Brady, a gun violence prevention organization, said in a statement.
“People in this country are being shot to death with assault weapons in their own homes, and that is the horrible reality we will continue to live in until our rules and policies change.”
According to the sheriff, there were 10 people inside the home at the time of the shooting.
The victims are between the ages of 8 and 40, Capers told reporters on Saturday. The 8-year-old victim was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Three people were taken to the hospital and two were evaluated on the scene and released, according to authorities.
Capers said the victims were from Honduras and that some had arrived at the home from Houston in recent days.
CNN has reached out to authorities for more information.
Cleveland is located approximately one hour northeast of Houston.
CNN’s Keith Allen, Jessica Flynn and Zoe Sottile contributed to this report.