When gunfire began blasting next door in Texas last Friday, waking a 6-week-old baby, several of the 16 people inside Sonia Guzmán’s home — all members of an extended family — decided it was time to call police. They called 911 “at least five or six times,” on the night of the shooting, Guzmán’s brother Ramiro told the Washington Post. Each time, he said, the operators responded that officers were already at the scene. “Then why is he killing my family now?” Ramiro Guzmán recalled saying. On Monday, the manhunt for the suspect accused of killing five people with an AR-15-style weapon inside Guzmán’s home in San Jacinto County continued. Authorities said Francisco Oropesa fled after killing his neighbors on Friday in response to their request that he stop shooting near their yard. More than 250 officers from local, state and federal agencies searched for Oropesa over the weekend, with officials believing they had him cornered in a wooded area. They found only his cellphone.
The search, concentrated about 45 miles northeast of Houston, has upended the small town where people are questioning the confusing police response to the 911 calls and the authorities mistakenly releasing a photo of a Fort Worth man as the suspect. He is now getting death threats. Concerns have also been raised about how the suspect, who authorities said is an undocumented immigrant and was deported several times, came to possess at least five guns. On Friday, Sonia Guzmán called 911 a little after 11 p.m. to make a noise complaint because Oropesa was shooting very close to their home. Then four men in the house decided to intervene and ask their neighbor to fire his weapon further from their adjoining front yard. About 15 minutes later, Ramiro Guzmán said, the neighbor entered their home and shot a barrage of bullets, hitting Sonia Guzmán first. Hiding inside a closet with his wife and their 6-month-old baby, Ramiro Guzmán desperately and repeatedly called 911. When police arrived, four adults were dead and a 9-year-old child was twisting in pain, Guzmán said. The boy died in an ambulance. A spokesman for Gov. Greg Abbott said the suspect had immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico illegally and was deported four times before returning to the U.S. each time.