Updated May 3, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Cleveland, Texas, mass shooting suspect in custody after tip to FBI

 Law enforcement respond to a crime scene where five people, including an 8-year-old child, were killed after a shooting inside a home on April 29, 2023 in Cleveland, Texas.

Law enforcement respond April 29 to a crime scene where five people were killed after a shooting inside a home on in Cleveland, Texas, the previous day. Photo: Go Nakamura/Getty Images

Texas authorities said the man suspected of killing five of his neighbors with an AR-15-style rifle in their Cleveland home was taken into custody in Montgomery County on Tuesday evening — ending a dayslong manhunt.

Driving the news: Francisco Oropesa, 38, a Mexican national, whom authorities named as a suspect in Friday's shootings was taken into custody "without incident," per a statement from the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office.

  • Authorities arrested Oropesa about 6:45pm local time at a home in Conroe, Montgomery County, some 23 miles from Cleveland, according to an FBI Houston statement. Both cities are less than 50 miles north of Houston.
  • San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers said at a briefing Tuesday evening Oropesa "was caught hiding in a closet underneath some laundry" in a closet.
  • A woman the Associated Press reported is Oropesa’s wife, Divimara Nava, 53, was also arrested and is being held in the Montgomery County Jail, the sheriff’s office confirmed to Axios. Nava is accused of hiding Oropesa during the police manhunt.

Zoom in: Oropesa faces five counts of murder in the killings of four adults and a 9-year-old boy. Authorities on Sunday offered a reward totaling $80,000 for his capture after saying they had "zero leads" as more than 250 law enforcement officers joined the search.

  • Officials said at the Tuesday evening briefing that multiple agencies arrested Oropesa following a tip that came to the FBI line at 5:15pm. The Border Patrol Tactical Unit was one of lead agencies.
  • The suspect was taken to the Montgomery County Jail in Conroe. "Oropeza will be magistrated, then brought back to the San Jacinto County Jail where he will be held on a five million dollar bond," the San Jacinto County Sheriff's Office said in a statement on Tuesday night.

The big picture: The victims were identified by law enforcement as: Sonia Argentina Guzman, 25; Diana Velazquez Alvarado, 21; Julisa Molina Rivera, 31; Jose Jonathan Casarez, 18; and Daniel Enrique Laso, 9. They were all originally from Honduras, according to Capers.

  • Oropesa is accused of using an AR-15 to shoot the victims after he was asked to stop shooting the rifle in his yard.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional developments.

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