Texas manhunt ends with arrest of man accused of killing 5 neighbors


person charged with murder his five neighbors was arrested Tuesday at his Texas home with an AR-15 rifle, authorities said.

The arrest of 38-year-old Francisco Oropesa in the Cut and Shoot, Texas town marked the end of a massive manhunt that entered its fourth day Tuesday.

A tip called into an FBI line at 5:15 p.m. led to Oropesa’s arrest at 6:30 p.m., Jimmy Paul, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s Houston field office, said at a news conference.

Paul said, “We just want to thank the person who had the courage and bravery to make the call on the suspect’s behalf.”

Oropesa is accused of killing five people, including a 9-year-old boy, in Cleveland, Texas, on Friday night after a family member told him to stop firing his rifle because an infant was sleeping, authorities have said. was trying

San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers said Oropesa will be charged with five counts of murder and is being held on $5 million bond.

Capers called Oropesa a coward.

“He was caught hiding in a closet under a laundry,” he said Tuesday.

Details about the house where Oropesa was found were not disclosed. Officials said that the matter is still under investigation.

The arrest ended an extensive search that involved more than 250 law enforcement officers, the FBI, and an $80,000 reward for information.

The sheriff’s office said Oropesa was arrested four days after visiting his neighbor’s home in the Trails End area of ​​Cleveland, about 45 miles north of Houston.

Officials have said that Oropesa started the shooting after a man complained that gunshots coming from a nearby property were keeping an infant from sleeping.

Wilson Garcia’s wife asked him to visit Oropesa’s residence and ask if he would stop shooting or shoot elsewhere. The request did not seem unreasonable, Garcia said, because they were on good terms with Oropesa.

“So we went and told the man to please stop shooting or continue shooting away from home. But he replied by saying that he was in his own property and could do whatever he wanted. Garcia said,

“I said: ‘Okay, that’s fine. It’s your property, but can you please move it further away or turn it down, that’s all?'” Garcia said. “Then he started insulting us. started, and we told him we were calling the police.”

The victims, all believed to be from Honduras, have been identified as: Daniel Enrique Leso, 9; Sonia Argentina Guzman, 25; Diana Velazquez Alvarado, 21; Julissa Molina Rivera, 31; and Jose Jonathan Casarez, 18.

García recognizes Daniel as his son and Guzmán as his wife and child’s mother.

Authorities said the four adult victims were pronounced dead at the scene and Daniels died at the hospital. Capers said three other children were found in the home and that the two women may have saved them by wrapping them around their bodies. He said he believed 15 rounds were fired.

Cut and Shoot, where Oropesa was arrested Tuesday, is a community of about 1,000 just east of Conroe and about 16 miles west of the Cleveland area where the killings took place.

investigators said on Sunday that they were running into a deadlockWith “zero leads”.

The FBI said Tuesday that law enforcement officials were analyzing “hundreds of thousands of pieces of information” in the entirety, and digital billboards in the Houston area showed Oropesa and the reward. There were plans to expand the billboards across the state.

It is not immediately clear how Oropesa managed to evade police for several days.

Searchers found her cellphone and some of her clothing on Saturday, but scent dogs ultimately failed to locate her.

Capers also said that authorities confiscated the rifle used in the attack, but that Oropesa may still have been armed with a handgun.

Gov. Greg Abbott said at a news conference on Sunday that the gunman had been deported from the US four times and was back in Texas illegally.

Oropesa’s wife filed a protective order against him last year San Jacinto County District Attorney Todd Dillon said he beat her. He said he was drunk and hit her with closed fists, kicked her to the floor and threatened her, Dillon said.

His wife told authorities last year that Oropesa was living with a sister in Conroe, Dillon previously said. Conroe is about 6 miles from Cut & Shoot; There was no information about any connection to Tuesday’s arrest.

Multiple agencies assisted in the search for Oropesa, including the FBI’s Houston Field Office, the US Marshals Service, the Gulf Coast Violent Offenders Task Force, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and the Texas Rangers.

Officials said the Marshals Service, Department of Public Safety and the US Border Patrol Tactical Unit went to the home and arrested Oropesa.

Supervisory Deputy US Marshal Joe Ruiz de Chavez said the killings were “a brutal crime that devastated this community and this country.”

“This is a very sad time for the victims, and I hope this brings them some comfort and they can grieve,” he said.

This story first appeared NBCNews.com,

This article was originally published on TODAY.com

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