US police capture suspect in killing of 5 neighbours in Texas

A man accused of killing five neighbours after they asked him to stop firing his rifle in his yard has been captured after a manhunt launched last week, Texas law enforcement said.

Francisco Oropesa, the suspected attacker, had eluded authorities since the mass shooting on Friday in the small town of Cleveland in southeastern Texas.

“We now have this man in custody,” San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers told reporters at a news conference on Tuesday night.

“He was caught hiding in a closet underneath some laundry.”

The 38-year-old Mexican national allegedly shot his neighbours after they asked him to stop shooting his semiautomatic rifle because the noise was keeping a baby awake.

The victims were aged between eight and 31, with several other residents in critical condition with multiple gunshot wounds.

Authorities deployed hundreds of law enforcement officers to look for the suspect and offered a reward of $80,000 for information leading to his capture.

FBI special agent Jimmy Paul told reporters that a call to the bureau’s tip line ultimately led law enforcement to Oropesa, who was arrested north of Houston at about 6:45pm (23:45 GMT) on Tuesday.

“I just want to thank the person who had the courage and bravery to call in the suspect’s location,” he said.

The incident took place on the night of April 28 when the suspect barged into his neighbour’s home and opened fire, killing five of the 10 people inside, including an eight-year-old boy.

Most of the victims were shot in the head. They were all from Honduras and living there, but were not all family members, police said.

The victims were identified as Sonia Argentina Guzman, 25; Diana Velazquez Alvarado, 21; Julisa Molina Rivera, 31; Jose Jonathan Casarez, 18; and Daniel Enrique Laso, 8.