Texas man kills 5 neighbors after they complained of gunfire

CLEVELAND, Texas — A Texas man went next door with a rifle and fatally shot five of his neighbors, including an eight-year-old boy, after they asked him to stop firing rounds in his yard because they were trying to sleep, authorities said Saturday, April 29, 2023.

The suspect, identified as 38-year-old Francisco Oropeza, remained at large more than 18 hours after the shooting and authorities warned that he might still be armed. The attack happened just before midnight Friday near the town of Cleveland, north of Houston, on a street where some residents say it is not uncommon to hear neighbors unwind by firing off guns.

San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers said Oropeza used an AR-style rifle, and as the search for him dragged into Saturday evening, authorities had widened their efforts to as far as “10 to 20 miles” from the murder scene. He said Oropeza may still have a weapon but that he believes authorities have the rifle used in the shooting.

Capers said they found clothes and a phone while combing a rural area that includes dense layers of forest but that tracking dogs had lost the scent.

“He could be anywhere now,” Capers said.

Capers said the victims were between the ages of eight and 31 years old and that all were believed to be from Honduras. All were shot “from the neck up,” he said.

The attack was the latest act of gun violence in what has been a record pace of mass shootings in the US so far this year, some of which have also involved semiautomatic rifles.

The mass killings have played out in a variety of places — a Nashville school, a Kentucky bank, a Southern California dance hall, and now a rural Texas neighborhood inside a single-story home. (AP)