A suspect is at large following a shooting on Friday night at a home in Cleveland, Texas, that left five people, including an 8-year-old child, dead.
San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement on Saturday, April 29, that four of the victims were found dead inside a residence on Walters Road in the Trails End area.
The incident occurred at 11:31 p.m. local time on Friday, April 28, shortly after officials from the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office received a call about harassment in the town of Cleveland, about 55 miles north of Houston.
“While enroute, the communications center received multiple 911 calls of an active shooter incident at the dispatch location,” the department said.
Three of the deceased were females and two were males, including the youngest, an 8-year-old boy. Two female victims were discovered in the bedroom lying on top of two surviving children, authorities told ABC News.
Police said they believe the massacre occurred after neighbors asked the suspect to stop shooting his gun in the front yard because there was a baby trying to sleep.
“My understanding is that the victims, they came over to the fence and said ‘Hey could [you not do your] shooting out in the yard? We have a young baby that’s trying to go to sleep,” and he had been drinking and he says ‘I’ll do what I want to in my front yard,'” San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers told KTRK.
Capers told KTRK the case went from harassment to a shooting very quickly. He said the shooter was drinking that night; police dispatchers initially confirmed the shooter was intoxicated.
He said that authorities believed some of the victims were trying to shield their children, with bodies found on top of children who were unharmed.
Sheriff Greg Capers told reporters that the deceased victims were all from Honduras and ranged in age from 8 to 40. He also disclosed that all of the victims were shot from the neck up “almost execution style.”
Three victims were taken to the hospital. Two others in the home were evaluated on scene and released. Capers believes the 10 people in the home lived together, with four to five of them just moving into the home from Houston within the last three or four days. The victims are all of Honduran descent, and the shooter is a Mexican national.
The suspect, who was identified by the sheriff as 38-year-old Francisco Oropeza, is believed to have fled the county. An arrest warrant was issued for him and a judge assigned a $5 million bond. He faces five counts of murder.