Gunman kills 5, including child, at home in Texas

Published April 30, 2023
Law enforcement respond to a crime scene where five people, including an 8-year-old child, were killed after a shooting inside a home in Cleveland, Texas. The alleged gunman, who is not yet in custody, used an AR-15 style rifle to shoot his neighbours. — AFP
Law enforcement respond to a crime scene where five people, including an 8-year-old child, were killed after a shooting inside a home in Cleveland, Texas. The alleged gunman, who is not yet in custody, used an AR-15 style rifle to shoot his neighbours. — AFP

HOUSTON: In the latest mass shooting to hit the United States, a gunman shot dead five Hondurans including an eight-year-old child at a house in Texas, officials said on Saturday.

Investigators believe the gunman had been firing his AR-15-style gun in a neighbouring yard when the victims asked him to stop, as they were trying to get a baby to sleep, US media reported.

Sheriff Greg Capers of San Jacinto County, which is north of Houston, desc­ribed a horrifying scene when authorities went to the residence after receiving a call about “harassment” around 11:30pm on Friday.

The victims, aged from eight to 40 years old, were strewn from the front door through the house to an inside bedroom, where two of them, both women , were found lying on top of two children who survived the massacre.

Deputies found “several others in critical condition from multiple gunshot wounds,” the sheriff’s office said in a Facebook post. Three were hospitalised.

“All the victims were from Honduras,” Capers told reporters, adding that 10 people had been in the house at the time.

The authorities said an arrest warrant had been issued for 39-year-old Fran­­­c­isco Oropeza, charging him with five counts of murder.

The Texas killings appeared to be the latest in a series of shootings spawned by ordinary interactions: a man mistakenly knocking on the wrong door, a cheerleader accidentally stepping into the wrong car, someone mistakenly driving into the wrong driveway, a ball rolling into a neighbour’s yard.

There have been more than 170 mass shootings — defined as four or more people wounded or killed — so far this year in the US, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

Published in Dawn, April 30th, 2023

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