A gunman identified as 38-year-old Francisco Oropeza, allegedly shot and killed five people, including an 8-year-old child, in Cleveland, Texas, on Friday night.
The suspect had been shooting a rifle in his yard when neighbors asked him to stop because a baby was trying to sleep. The suspect then opened fire on the neighbors.
After the suspect began shooting, the victims tried to protect the young children in their home. Two females in a bedroom used their bodies as shields to protect the children, who survived the attack.
Authorities found the victims after receiving a harassment report about the gunfire.
Oropeza was tracked with his cell phone but evaded capture.
Local law enforcement is conducting a search for Oropeza, and the FBI’s Houston field office is assisting with the manhunt.
The suspect was known to have fired a .223 rifle, and authorities had received previous reports about him firing in his yard.
At least three weapons were found in the suspect’s home, and investigators have spoken with his wife.
There have been 174 mass shootings in the US so far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
People in this country are being gunned down with assault weapons in their own homes, and that is the horrifying reality we will continue to live under until our norms and policies change, said Kris Brown, president of Brady, a gun violence prevention organization.
The victims range in age from 8 to about 40 and are from Honduras. Three people were taken to the hospital, and two were evaluated at the scene and released. Cleveland is approximately an hour northeast of Houston.