Shooter suspect caught in Texas mass shooting: What you should know

CLEVELAND, Texas (AP) — A man suspected of opening fire on his neighbor’s home, killing five people got arrested Tuesday after a four-day manhunt, Texas authorities said.

The Hunt for 38-year-old Francisco Oropeza began Friday after fleeing the scene of the deadly shooting in the rural city of Cleveland, about 45 miles (72.42 kilometers) north of Houston.

The shooting came after Oropeza’s neighbors asked him to stop shooting rounds in his yard because a baby was trying to sleep. The baby’s mother and 9-year-old brother were among the five dead, all originally from Honduras.

Here are some things you should know about the case:

What happened during the manhunt?

An FBI agent admitted Monday that authorities had little to do in expanding the search for Oropeza.

More than 250 law enforcement officers from multiple agencies, including the US Marshals, took part in the manhunt, which came up empty despite additional manpower, sniffer dogs, drones and $80,000 in reward money.

A heavy police presence gathered in Montgomery County Monday following a possible sighting, but the sheriff’s office later said Oropeza was not among those being questioned.

Montgomery County Sheriff Rand Henderson confirmed Tuesday that Oropeza was arrested without incident near Conroe, about 20 miles from the home where the shooting occurred.

Who is Oropeza?

Oropeza is a Mexican citizen who has been deported four times, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Oropeza was deported in March 2009, September of the same year, January 2012 and most recently in July 2016.

The FBI in Houston tweeted Sunday that it was referring to the suspect as Oropesa, not Oropeza, to “better reflect his identity in law enforcement systems.” His family lists her name as Oropeza on a sign outside their court as well as in public records.

What happened the night of the shooting?

Neighbors often fire guns in the rural community to relax. But Wilson Garcia said his baby was having trouble sleeping through the night, so he and two other people asked Oropeza to move his filming further from their home.

After Oropeza denied the request, the family made repeated calls to law enforcement, Garcia recalled Sunday.

He said that while Oropeza waited for help to arrive, he ran up to him and reloaded. Garcia’s house was full of 15 people, including some friends who had been there to go on a church retreat with Garcia’s wife.

Garcia’s 25-year-old wife, Sonia Argentina Guzman, and 9-year-old son, Daniel Enrique Laso, were killed, along with Diana Velazquez Alvarado, 21; Julia Molina Rivera, 31; and Jose Jonathan Casarez, 18. Two of the victims were shot dead while shielding Garcia’s baby and two-year-old daughter.

What are the problems with immigration?

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has been criticized for drawing attention to the victims’ immigration status.

Abbott offered a $50,000 reward over the weekend for any tip that could lead to the shooter’s arrest, while describing the victims as “illegal immigrants” — a potentially false statement his office sent back and apologized for on Monday.

Critics accused Abbott of doing so made immigration reform feeding politics into the tragic shooting, a characteristic problem in Texas.

“We have since learned that at least one of the victims may have been legally in the United States,” Abbott spokeswoman Renae Eze said in a statement. “We regret if the information was incorrect and distracted from the important goal of finding and arresting the criminal.”

Eze said information provided by federal officials after the shooting suggested the suspect and victims were in the country illegally. Her statement didn’t address why Abbott mentioned her status, and she didn’t immediately respond to questions about the criticism.

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