San Jacinto Co. sheriff, FBI, US Marshals give details about Francisco Oropeza arrest

WATCH: Sheriff, US Marshals, FBI discuss arrest of Francisco Oropeza
Published: May. 2, 2023 at 10:04 PM CDT|Updated: May. 2, 2023 at 10:59 PM CDT
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CLEVELAND, Texas (KLTV) - A fugitive who is accused of killing his five neighbors after they asked him not to shoot off his gun so close to their home last Friday night has been arrested.

The suspect, Francisco Oropeza, allegedly responded to the neighbor’s request by gunning down five people at their residence, including a woman and her nine-year-old child. Then he fled. The search for Oropeza lasted four days, and a reward for tips leading to his arrest amounted to $80,000.

Authorities have captured 38-year-old Francisco Oropeza, who is accused of fatally shooting...
Authorities have captured 38-year-old Francisco Oropeza, who is accused of fatally shooting five of his neighbors in Cleveland, Texas.(Source: FBI Houston via CNN)

San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers kicked off a press conference Tuesday night by saying, “Great news, the suspect is in custody. I have just left the Montgomery County Jail, where he was taken and he has been magistrated. He will now be taken to my jail, where his new residence will be.”

He said the suspect is uninjured.

“He was caught hiding in a closet, underneath some laundry. They effectively made the arrest. He is uninjured,” the sheriff said.

Oropeza was captured as a result of a call to the tip line, FBI assistant special agent Jimmy Paul said. He said they received the tip at 5:15 p.m., and the arrest was made at 6:30 p.m.

“The tip for the suspect location came in from the FBI tip line, and we just want to thank the person who had the courage and bravery to call in the suspect’s location,” Paul said.

Officials said the caller will receive the monetary award for giving them the tip.

Watch KLTV 7 News at 10.

Supervisory deputy US Marshal Joe Chavez spoke about the arrest bringing closure for the family.

“We received a call for assistance from Sheriff Capers and we brought resources...we have expertise in hunting fugitives,” he said, and later added, “This is a very sad time for the victims. I hope this will bring them some comfort, and they can grieve.”

Oropeza is charged with five counts of murder and is held on a $5,000,000 bond.