Cleveland, Texas, Francisco Oropesa, a fugitive accused of murdering five individuals, including a child, was allegedly deported from the U.S. five times prior to committing the massacre.
At the time of the shooting, the suspect was in the country unlawfully and had reportedly reentered the U.S. illegally on multiple occasions after being deported, according to an ICE source who spoke with Fox News.
When Oropesa, 38, was confronted by a neighbor for firing shots in his yard, he claimed it was his property and later approached the neighbor’s home with a rifle, shooting from room to room. The victims were identified as Sonia Argentina Guzman, 25, Daniel Enrique Laso Guzman, 8, Diana Velazquez Alvarado, 21, Julisa Molina Rivera, 31, and Jose Jonathan Casarez, 18.
Authorities said the killings were “execution-style” and that two female victims were found in a bedroom shielding two surviving children. The suspect was believed to be intoxicated during the incident.
As the manhunt for Oropesa continues, no leads have been found as of Monday morning.
F.B.I. special agent James Smith, in charge of the Houston area, informed reporters during a news conference, “We do not know where he is. We do not have any tips right now as to where he may be. Right now, we have zero leads.”
— Keith Diggs (@KeithDiggs10) May 2, 2023
On Sunday’s Meet the Press, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas was questioned about Oropesa’s immigration status. Host Chuck Todd cited reports that Oropesa was in the country legally on a consulate card from Mexico but may have overstayed. Mayorkas declined to comment due to the ongoing investigation, but confirmed that the FBI is the lead agency, with DHS closely monitoring the situation.
Texas Governor Gregg Abbott faced criticism for mentioning the immigration status of the victims when announcing a $50,000 reward for information leading to Oropesa’s arrest.
San Jacinto County sheriff Greg Capers expressed his focus on justice for the victims during a Sunday press conference, stating, “My heart is with this eight-year-old little boy. I don’t care if he was here legally. I don’t care if he was here illegally. He was in my county. Five people died in my county. That is where my heart is.”
Michael Kagan, director of the UNLV Immigration Clinic, tweeted, “You can just say ‘people.’ They were people.”
The reward was later increased to $55,000, with the FBI offering an additional $25,000 independently.
Call 911 if you see him or have information about his location. pic.twitter.com/5F5HlfdNZS
— FBI Houston (@FBIHouston) April 30, 2023
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot sent a letter to Governor Abbott on Sunday, requesting him to stop sending buses of migrants and asylum seekers to the north. Lightfoot claimed that the city’s resources are severely strained, stating on CNN This Morning, “We are completely tapped out. We have no more space. We have no more resources.”