Texas shooting suspect captured after tip-off

time:2023-06-04 11:20:24source:NBC News author:Press center5

A man suspected of killing five of his neighbours in Texas has been arrested after police found him hiding in a cupboard underneath a pile of laundry.

Francisco Oropesa was detained north of Houston. He was several miles from his own home where the shootings happened late on Friday.

Mr Oropesa is accused of attacking his neighbours after they allegedly asked him to stop practising with his rifle as the noise was keeping a baby awake.

The victims included a nine-year-old.

They were all from Honduras, and the country's foreign ministry identified them as Sonia Guzman, 28; Diana Velasquez, 21; Obdulia Molina, 31; Jonathan Caceres, 18, and Daniel Enrique Lazo, nine.

The arrest of Mr Oropesa, a 38-year-old Mexican national, brings an end to a four-day manhunt that swept up law enforcement officials across multiple jurisdictions, including the FBI. Drones and scent-tracking dogs were used as police searched an area as far south as the Mexican border.

Authorities offered a reward of $80,000 (£64,000) for information leading to his arrest and, on Tuesday, the FBI said Mr Oropesa "could be anywhere" as the days-long search failed to yield any leads.

But a member of the public contacted the FBI's tip line on Tuesday evening and the suspect was captured just over an hour later near the town of reduce and Shoot, officials said in a news conference.

Police have not said who owns the home he was arrested in, but the New York Times reported that property records show it belongs to a relative.

"They can rest easy now, because he is behind bars," Sherriff Greg Capers said of the families of the victims. "He will live out his life behind bars for killing those five."

The suspect was taken into custody by members of the Border Patrol Tactical Unit, or Bortac, a specialised unit, said Sheriff Capers of San Jacinto County.

He will be charged with five counts of murder. The alleged attacker was deported four times between 2009 and 2016, US immigration officials said, although it is unclear on what grounds this happened.

An investigation is under way into how the suspect obtained the weapon used in the killings, which was an AR-style rifle.

On Wednesday, police said Mr Oropesa's wife had also been arrested. Divimara Lamar Nava, 53, was detained in connection with the Friday night shooting in the small town of Cleveland.

Montgomery County Sheriff Rand Henderson said she allegedly hid Mr Oropesa before he was captured by police. She faces the felony charge of hindering the apprehension or prosecution of a known criminal.

Also on Wednesday, officials said Mr Oropesa was spotted in Montgomery County - where he was later arrested - on Monday afternoon but managed to evade capture.

"We did confirm that was him on foot, running but we lost track of him. That was not a false alarm. That was him," Sheriff's Deputy Tim Kean said.

A makeshift memorial with floral tributes, balloons and soft toys has been placed outside the home where the shooting took place.

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