Mexican National with Multiple Deportations Arrested for Fatal Shooting of Five Neighbors in Texas
Francisco Oropesa Perez-Torres, a Mexican national, has been arrested for the fatal shooting of five of his neighbors in Cleveland, Texas. The victims were identified as Sonia Argentina Guzman, 25; Diana Velazquez Alvarado, 21; Juliza Molina Rivera, 31; Jose Jonathan Casarez, 18; and Daniel Enrique Laso, 9. Oropesa entered the US illegally and had been deported by immigration officials at least four times since 2009. He was removed from the US twice in 2009 and once in 2012 and 2016, according to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Oropesa was deported on March 17, 2009, after an immigration judge ordered his removal. He unlawfully returned to the US, and he was then apprehended and deported by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in September 2009, January 2012, and July 2016.
The incident began when Oropesa was asked by a neighbor, Garcia, to stop shooting his AR-15 in his yard as it was disturbing children's sleep. After being warned that the police would be called, Oropesa walked across the yard and shot Garcia's wife, Sonia Argentina Guzman, while she stood at the front door. Shortly after, Oropesa allegedly approached the victims’ home and started shooting, killing Guzman and her son, as well as three other neighbors. Garcia said Oropesa then walked room by room, shooting at them. In a bedroom, two victims were discovered using their bodies to protect two young children. According to ABC News, authorities found two surviving children lying beneath two female victims in the bedroom.
Oropesa was on the run for several days before he was captured. The tip for his location came in through the FBI tip line. He was found hiding in a closet under laundry. Oropesa will be charged with five counts of murder with a bond totaling $5 million. Oropesa's wife had filed a protective order against him last year alleging he beat her.
The incident has sparked outrage and controversy over US immigration policies. Despite the fact that some of the victims had green cards, Texas Governor Greg Abbott referred to them as “illegal immigrants” in a statement offering condolences and announcing a $50,000 reward for information on the shooter. The use of this language has been criticized as dehumanizing and insulting to the victims. Meanwhile, the incident has also raised questions about gun violence and the need for gun control measures in the US.
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