WGVA 106.3FM 1240AMMix 98.5101.7 The WallWFLR Finger Lakes Country Classic Hits 99.3The Lake 100.1/104.5 WAUB 96.3FM 1590AM

Suspect accused of gunning down five in Texas taken into custody

SHARE NOW

(CLEVELAND, Texas) — Francisco Oropesa, the man accused of gunning down five people in an “execution-style” mass shooting in Cleveland, Texas, has been taken into custody after a multi-day manhunt, officials said.

Oropesa, 38, was taken into custody in Montgomery County, about 20 miles from where the shooting took place, uninjured and without incident Tuesday evening, San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers said.

The suspect was “caught hiding in a closet underneath some laundry,” Capers said Tuesday night during a press conference. The suspect will be taken from Montgomery County to the San Jacinto County Jail in Coldspring, Capers said, where he will face charges. He’s expected to be held on a $5 million bond.

The tip for the suspect’s location came in through the FBI tip line, FBI assistant special agent in charge Jimmy Paul said.

“We just want to thank the person who had the courage and bravery to call in the suspect’s location,” he said.

Reward money will be given to the person who called in the tip, officials said. It wasn’t immediately clear how much the person would receive. The total reward increased to $100,000 earlier Tuesday, after the U.S. Marshals announced a contribution of $20,000 on top of $25,000 from the FBI, $50,000 from the state and $5,000 from Multi-County Crime Stoppers.

Oropesa was apprehended by the U.S. Marshals, Texas Department of Public Safety and the U.S. Border Patrol.

A Border Patrol Tactical Unit, or BORTAC, apprehended the suspect, and air and marine operations assisted with surveillance, Troy Miller, the acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said in a statement.

“In small towns and communities like Cleveland, Texas, the men and women of U.S. Customs and Border Protection — in particular, the U.S. Border Patrol — provide integral law enforcement support to local authorities, protecting and serving the communities they live in,” he said. “Tonight’s actions clearly demonstrate that our agents and officers bring incredible capabilities to bear every day as they work to keep our communities safe.”

The massacre unfolded Friday night after neighbors asked Oropesa, 38, to stop shooting his AR-15 in his yard because a newborn was trying to sleep, authorities said.

Oropesa then allegedly stormed the neighbors’ home, killing five of the 10 people inside, including a young boy, authorities said. Two of the women killed were found in a bedroom lying on top of two surviving children, authorities said.

The San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office received a call around 11:31 p.m. Friday detailing harassment, Sheriff Greg Capers told reporters on Sunday. When deputies arrived at the home, they found five victims at the property, Capers said.

Three minors were found uninjured but covered in blood, authorities said. Two of the female victims were discovered in the bedroom lying on top of two surviving children, authorities told ABC News.

The victims were identified as Sonia Argentina Guzman, 25; Diana Velazquez Alvarado, 21; Julisa Molina Rivera, 31; Jose Jonathan Casarez, 18; and Daniel Enrique Laso Guzman, 9. Five other people who were in the home were not harmed.

Oropesa is a Mexican national who was previously deported four times, a source familiar with the investigation told ABC News.

Oropesa was deported on March 17, 2009, after an immigration judge ordered his removal, the source said. He unlawfully returned to the U.S., and he was then apprehended and deported by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in September 2009, January 2012 and July 2016, the source said.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Get the top stories on your radio 24/7 on Finger Lakes News Radio 96.3 and 1590, WAUB and 106.3 and 1240, WGVA, and on Finger Lakes Country, 96.1/96.9/101.9/1570 WFLR.