Surviving homeowner says he 'can't believe it' following gunman's rampage in Cleveland Texas

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Sunday, April 30, 2023
'It's horrible' Father who survived mass shooting describes slaughter
"I never thought that he would shoot. Then he went room to room, looking for people", a survivor said of the rampage that killed his wife and son.

CLEVELAND, Texas (KTRK) -- We are now learning more about the five victims who were shot to death "almost execution style" by a gunman on Friday evening in Cleveland, Texas.

Multiple agencies are exhausting all resources searching for 38-year-old Francisco Oropeza after he is accused of walking into his neighbor's home and shooting multiple people, including a third grader, in the 100 block of Walters Road in the Trails End area of Cleveland, just about 45 miles north of Houston.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Officials reach cold trail after recovering items believed to be Cleveland gunman's during manhunt

According to the homeowner and survivor, Wilson Garcia, Oropeza was reportedly drunk and shooting his AR-15 gun outside on his front porch. Garcia said he asked for Oropeza to be quiet due to his 1-month-old baby trying to sleep inside.

"We had company. We were going to make something to eat, the guy, came out and he was shooting. We asked him to be quiet 'cause my baby was scared," Garcia said via a translator.

Garcia said that they told Oropeza that they were going to call the police, but before they could, Oropeza walked to the front door and shot Garcia's wife, 25-year-old Sonia Argentina Guzmán Taibot, where she was standing.

"I never thought that he would shoot. Then he went room to room, looking for people," Garcia said.

Garcia also said that Oropeza shot at him multiple times but missed.

"He couldn't catch up to me. The bullets were hitting (everywhere), " Garcia said.

Authorities responded to the shooting at about 11:30 p.m. and found several people shot.


Family members have started to identify the victims, who ranged in age from 8 to 40 years old and are believed to be from Honduras.

According to Sheriff Greg Capers, two women were found lying on top of three (surviving young children).

Investigators said that each victim had been shot from the neck up.

According to officials, the family identified the other victims as 21-year-old Diana Velasquez Alvarado, 31-year-old Obdulia Molina Rivera, Alvarado's sister, 18-year-old Josué Jonatan Cáceres, and Garcia's step-son, Daniel Enrique Lazo Guzmán.

Garcia said he never had a problem with Oropeza, even after moving here three years ago.

"I never had a problem with him. I can't believe what he did," Garcia said.

A judge has issued an arrest warrant for Oropeza and assigned a $5 million bond. Officials describe Oropeza as a Hispanic man who is 5 feet 8 inches tall. He was last seen wearing jeans, a black shirt, and work boots. He has a goatee and short black hair, investigators said.

The FBI is assisting the San Jacinto County Sheriff's Office in the search for Oropeza.

As the search continued, according to Capers, a cellphone that Oropeza reportedly used to be "in communication with officials" was found along with clothing that had been abandoned.

Oropeza was said to have fled the area on foot or a bicycle. Officials used tracking dogs to find his scent but eventually lost track.

Investigators believe Oropeza is armed and dangerous and considers him a threat to the community.

A GoFundMe was created to raise money for the bodies of Sonia Argentina Gúzman and Daniel Enrique Laso-Guzman to be sent back to their native Honduras.