The dad of a baby believed to have triggered a shooting spree broke down in tears as he admitted he “never thought” his neighbour would shoot at him and his family.
Wilson Garcia said he and his wife Sonia Argentina Guzman, 25, had put their baby to bed when Franciso Oropesa started shooting from his porch next door.
Garcia stepped out of his home to ask him to be quiet because of the sleeping baby, and warned the man he would call the police if he continued to shoot.
Oropesa is believed to have then walked into Garcia’s house with his AR-15-style gun and started shooting at the homeowner, his family and a group of friends they were hosting.
Garcia said: “I never thought that he would shoot. He went room to room, looking for people.”
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The Cleveland, Texas homeowner lost his wife Sonia and their eight-year-old son Daniel Enrique Laso in the shooting.
Diana Velazquez Alvarado, 21; Julisa Molina Rivera, 31; and Jose Jonathan Casarez, 18 were also killed at the scene.
The police said all of the victims appeared to have been shot “from the neck up”, with two of them found slumped over children in what seemed to be an attempt to protect them from the gunfire.
Garcia said he had interacted very little with his next-door neighbour since his family moved in in 2020, and his request to keep quiet was one of the few times the two had spoken.
He told ABC13: “I never had a problem with him. I can’t believe what he did.”
Garcia has since started a GoFundMe to help send Sonia and Daniel’s remains back to her native Honduras.
He wrote: “Hello my name is Wilson, Sonia Guzman husband and father of Daniel Guzman.
“I would like you to help me raise funds to be able to send my wife and son to their native country Honduras and repatriate those who died in the murder in Cleveland Tx.”
Oropesa has been missing since shortly after the shooting and is believed to still be armed. Police have urged residents to keep an eye out for the man but not to approach him as he his considered to be dangerous.
Governor Greg Abbot has offered a £39,782 ($50,000) reward to anyone offering information that could lead to the man’s arrest.
FBI Houston Special Agent in Charge James Smith said: We don’t have any tips right now as to where he may be and that’s why we’ve come up with this reward, so that hopefully somebody out there can call us.
“I can pretty much guarantee you, he’s contacted some of his friends. We just don’t know what friends they are and that’s what we need from the public, is any type of information because right now we’re running into dead ends.”
Sheriff Greg Capers said that more than 200 law enforcement officials have been deployed on the man hint but admitted to reporters that investigators have “zero leads” on where to find him.
He said the suspect “could be anywhere” and added that K-9 units had “picked up a scent and then lost the scent in the water.”
The sheriff said the man “has been known to shoot his 223 out in his front yard, which is evident by the shell casings that are laying in the front yard.
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