Manhunt widens for $80,000 bounty suspect as probe yields ‘no leads’

Last update: 01 May 2023, 05:28 HST

The search for the suspect has gained momentum since Friday's shooting, with more than 200 police officers from multiple jurisdictions searching for Francisco Oropeza.  (Picture: AP)

The search for the suspect has gained momentum since Friday’s shooting, with more than 200 police officers from multiple jurisdictions searching for Francisco Oropeza. (Picture: AP)

Investigators found clothes and a phone while scouring a rural area that includes dense layers of forest

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other authorities in Texas are offering a combined reward of $80,000 for the arrest of a mass shooting suspect who fatally shot five people in a town north of Houston on Friday.

“#BREAKING FBI Special Agent in Charge James Smith announces an additional $25,000 FBI reward for this investigation. $80,000 is now being offered for information leading to the arrest of Francisco Oropesa. Call 1 -800-CALL-FBI with advice,” FBI Houston said in a tweet.

The manhunt for Francisco Oropeza, the 38-year-old suspect in Friday’s shooting, has widened significantly. More than 200 police officers from multiple jurisdictions are now involved in the search, going door to door asking for advice in locating the suspect.

Speaking to a press conference on Sunday, FBI Houston Special Agent James Smith said he has more than 200 law enforcement personnel from federal, state and local agencies trying to bring this topic to light. custody and to ensure the safety of the community.

Notably, the FBI also acknowledged it had “no leads” after nearly two days of searching.

“There are over 250 law enforcement officers from more than a dozen agencies actively seeking Oropesa. The FBI Houston and other local, state and federal agencies will not stop assisting SJSO until he is captured and justice is served on behalf of all 5 victims,” ​​the FBI said in another tweet. .

The shooting happened on a rural street near the city of Cleveland, where homes are nestled on one-acre lots surrounded by a dense canopy of trees. Residents say shooting guns to relieve stress is a common practice among neighbors.

Francisco Oropesa remains at large and considered armed and dangerous after allegedly killing five people in a rural Texas town.

San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers announced on Saturday that the search area had been widened to 20 miles from the shooting location and that investigators had found clothing and a phone while searching the dense forest area. , but the tracking dogs had lost the scent.

Oropesa was identified using an identity card issued by Mexican authorities for citizens residing outside the country and doorbell camera footage. The suspect’s wife was also questioned by the police.

The AR-15 type rifle used in the shooting was recovered by police, but it is unclear whether Oropesa is carrying another weapon. Authorities also discovered other firearms at the suspect’s home.

(With contributions from the agency)

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