Authorities are searching for a Texas man accused of killing five of his neighbors after they asked him to stop shooting gunfire in his backyard because they were trying to sleep, police said on Saturday.
Francisco Oropeza, 39, went next door with an AR-style rifle and began shooting the family members “execution-style,” killing five of the people inside the home Friday night, according to San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers. The youngest victim was 8 years old.
Oropeza has been charged with five counts of murder, and a manhunt for the suspect is ongoing. There were a total of 10 people in the home at the time of the shooting, with the other five left uninjured, according to police.
Two of the victims were found lying on top of children who were in the home, who were later taken to the hospital and deemed to be uninjured. Two other people in the home were examined and released at the scene.
“The Honduran ladies that were laying over these children were doing it in such an effort as to protect the child,” Capers told reporters at the scene.
Three of the victims were women, and one was a man, although no other identifying information was immediately available. All five of the victims are believed to be from Honduras and were between the ages of 8 and 40 years old, according to police.
The confrontation occurred after family members walked up to the fence to ask Oropeza to stop shooting late at night so that their baby could sleep, Capers said. However, the suspect told the family that it was his property and was later seen walking to their front door with the rifle.
Authorities have previously made visits to Oropeza’s home for similar complaints, Capers said.
“Deputies have come over and spoke with him about him shooting his gun in the yard,” he told reporters.
Police are still searching for the suspect in the town of Cleveland, Texas, which is located about 45 miles north of Houston.