(CNN) — The FBI is helping in the search for the attacker accused of shooting and killing five people – including a child – in a Cleveland (Texas) house after his neighbors asked him to stop shooting his rifle outside, authorities said.
“We consider him armed and dangerous,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge of Houston James Smith. “He’s out there and he’s a threat to the community.”
Francisco Oropesa, 38, allegedly opened fire on his neighbors Friday night after they asked him to stop firing a rifle in their yard because a baby was trying to sleep, San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Greg said Saturday. Capers.
After declining their request, the suspect at one point was seen on doorbell camera footage approaching the neighbors’ front door with a rifle, according to Capers.
They found multiple people dead around the house in different rooms, including two female victims in a bedroom who authorities believe used their bodies to shield two young children who survived, Capers said.
According to the sheriff, the dead were shot “near execution” at close range and above the neck.
The investigators began to follow Oropesa’s trail using his mobile phone, but they assure that the trail was lost on Saturday night.
“Now it could be anywhere,” Capers said at a news conference on Saturday. Cleveland is about 65 kilometers northeast of downtown Houston.
The victims were identified as Sonia Argentina Gúzman, 25 years old; Diana Velázquez Alvarado, 21 years old; Julisa Molina Rivera, 31 years old; José Jonathan Cásarez, 18 years old; and Daniel Enrique Laso-Guzman, 8 years old.
Five other people who were at home during the attack were not injured. They found three children covered in blood and were taken to a hospital but were not injured, the sheriff said early Saturday.
According to the sheriff, some of the people in the house had moved there from Houston only a few days ago.
Wilson Paz, general director of Migrant Protection in Honduras, confirmed to CNN that the five victims are Hondurans.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Honduras, Enrique Reina, stated on social media: “We demand that the full weight of the law be applied against those responsible for this crime,” adding that the Honduran consulate in Houston is contacting the families of the victims as it learns more details of the investigation.
The FBI Houston Field Office is assisting the sheriff’s office in the search for Oropesa, according to the agency announced in a tweet on Saturday.
The attack adds to a list of more than 170 mass shootings in the United States so far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Both CNN and the file define a “mass shooting” as a shooting in which four or more people are injured or killed, not including the shooter.
“I will do what I want in the garden of my house”
The sheriff told reporters Saturday that they had already received other calls for service about the suspect for firing his rifle on the front lawn.
The suspect was known to fire a .223 caliber rifle, according to Capers. Shell casings were also found outside the house after the shooting.
“The victims came up to the fence and said, ‘Hey, can you stop shooting into the yard? We’ve got a baby trying to sleep,'” Capers said.
The suspect, who had been drinking, replied: “I’ll do whatever I want in my garden,” police said.
Deputies were already on their way to the house on a harassment complaint around 11:30 p.m. Friday when they received multiple 911 calls about an active shooter at the same location, according to the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office. .
A SWAT team responded to the neighborhood – searching and evacuating adjacent properties – and ultimately determined that the shooter fled the scene.
“We don’t think he’s in the area,” the sheriff said Saturday morning, adding that the suspect was believed to be at least 10 to 12 miles from the crime scene.
Oropesa’s cell phone was found abandoned, along with items of clothing, Capers said. “Texas Department of Corrections sniffer dogs picked up the scent and then lost it,” the sheriff said.
Authorities found at least three weapons inside the suspect’s home and spoke to his wife, the sheriff said.
$80,000 reward offered for capture of Cleveland mass shooting suspect
As the search continues for the man suspected of killing his neighbors after he was asked to stop firing his rifle outdoors, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has offered $50,000 for the capture of Francisco Oropesa, the court reported. San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers.
“The governor of the state of Texas offered $50,000 for the capture of this suspect,” he said, adding that Multi-County Crimestoppers “is offering $5,000.”
The FBI is also offering $25,000 for the suspect’s capture, according to Houston FBI Special Agent in Charge (SAC) James Smith, bringing the total reward amount to $80,000.
Oropesa, 38, allegedly opened fire on his neighbors Friday night after they asked him to stop firing a rifle in their yard because a baby was trying to sleep, the San Jacinto County Sheriff said Saturday. Greg Capers, as previously reported by CNN.
CNN’s Rosa Flores, Andy Rose, Keith Allen, Raja Razek and Ray Sanchez contributed to this report.