On the night of April 28th, 2023, Francisco Oropeza, a 39 year old Mexican national, perpetrated an act of senseless violence that left five dead and many more wounded near Cleveland, Texas.
San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers reported that authorities have tracked Oropeza’s whereabouts and are now closing in on his location. To aid in his apprehension, a team of Texas Department of Corrections officers have been dispatched to the area, accompanied by search dogs, horseback riders, and a drone.
The chain of events began after 11 pm on the 100 block of Walters Road in the Trails End area of Cleveland, 50 miles north of Houston. Sheriff Capers explained that nearby residents had called authorities about potential harassment. After roughly an hour of searching, deputies made an overwhelming discovery; upon arriving at the residence, they found that five individuals had been shot and killed.
Witnesses at the scene recounted that the suspect had been drinking prior to the shooting and that they had heard him shooting his rifle in his yard as well as gathering a few shell casings.
One of the nearby neighbors emerged from their home and asked Oropeza to cease discharging his firearm, noting that a baby inside was trying to sleep. In turn, Oropeza stated that he would shoot in his own front yard and do as he pleased inside his dwelling.
It was then that he advanced towards the victims’ house, began firing his .223 caliber AR-15-style rifle, and ultimately killed four adults and an eight-year-old child. Three other individuals sustained gunshot wounds and were immediately taken to the hospital. In addition, several adults and minors within the home were released after being medically evaluated on the scene.
A warrant has been issued for Oropeza’s arrest, with a $5 million bond, and the Texas Rangers have been called in to aid in the ensuing investigation. All of the victims were from Honduras, with ten individuals total living in the home.
After confiscating a number of weapons, including a shotgun, two rifles, and a pistol, officials asked the public to avoid the vicinity, as a significant law enforcement presence still remains. This is the first mass shooting with more than three casualties that the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office has ever needed to investigate.