According to police in Texas, a dispute over the man practicing shooting with a semi-automatic weapon nearby led to the death of five of the man’s neighbors.
All of the victims, including the eight-year-old youngster, were Hondurans.
The incident took place on Friday night in the rural community of Cleveland in San Jacinto County, which is located north of Houston.
The incident began when the gunman started shooting near the house, police say
According to the local sheriff, Greg Capers, two mothers who were found sleeping on top of two living children were among those who died.
Sheriff Capers told a local station KTRK, “In my opinion, they were actually trying to take care of the babies and keep them alive.” The victims had all been shot “from the neck up, almost execution style, primarily in the head,” he continued.
The 38-year-old suspect has been identified as Francisco Oropez, who is thought to be Mexican. He is still at large and is rumored to be armed. With five charges of murder, he is accused.
Police are searching for the culprit, who is thought to be hiding in a nearby woodland, with dogs and a drone.
According to the sheriff’s office, a call regarding “harassment” was made at approximately 23:30 local time on Friday (04:30 GMT Saturday).
The victims, who were attempting to put a baby to sleep, are thought to have requested Mr. Oropez, who was allegedly intoxicated, to stop firing.
Sheriff Capers reported the man’s response as follows: “I’ll shoot out in my front yard, do what I want to in my own residence.”
Both sides went back to their homes after the altercation, and that’s when the shooter “topped off his magazine, walked down his driveway… into the people’s house, and started shooting,” according to Sheriff Capers.
There were ten persons altogether on the premises at the time. The eight-year-old passed away in a hospital, while the adults were pronounced dead at the spot.
It is thought that the shooter utilized an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle.
Veronica Pineda, a neighbor, reported hearing the shooting but noted that gunfire was common in the area: “In this neighborhood, they’re always shooting. They keep phoning the police, but nothing is done about it.
“So, I heard about the shooting yesterday, but I assumed it was just another ordinary day. I had no idea this would occur.
Days before, a shooting at a gathering for teens in western Texas left nine people hurt.
Four teenagers were shot and killed two weeks ago in Alabama at a 16th birthday celebration.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, firearm-related occurrences are the leading cause of mortality for children and teenagers in the US.
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