Fugitive in Texas Killings ‘Could Be Anywhere’
By Bob Cronin,
Law enforcement officials searching for the suspect in the fatal shooting of five people in a Texas home were able to track his cellphone until that stopped working Saturday evening. Authorities said they believe Francisco Oropeza, 38, has left the Cleveland, Texas, area, where his neighbors were shot to death after asking him to stop shooting a gun in his yard Friday night so a baby could sleep. Searchers said they found his cellphone and pieces of clothing he abandoned after fleeing. Tracking dogs picked up the suspect’s scent, then lost it. The search area has been extended to 20 miles from Cleveland. “He could be anywhere now,” San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers said Saturday night. The FBI is helping with the manhunt, CNN reports.
“He’s out there, and he’s a threat to the community,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge James Smith. The victims are thought to all have been from Honduras. They were identified as Sonia Argentina Guzman, 25; Diana Velazquez Alvarado, 21; Julisa Molina Rivera, 31; Jose Jonathan Casarez, 18; and Daniel Enrique Laso, 8, per the AP. Rene Arevalo Sr., who lives a few doors down from the suspect, said Oropeza threatened to kill his dog a few months ago after it got loose. “I tell my wife all the time, ‘Stay away from the neighbors. Don’t argue with them. You never know how they’re going to react,'” Arevalo said. “I tell her that because Texas is a state where you don’t know who has a gun and who is going to react that way.”