CLEVELAND (Texas) (AP). Wilson Garcia had not even asked his neighbor that he stop firing his gun.
In their rural town, north of Houston, people are used to firing weapons as a way to let off steam. But it was late on Friday night and Garcia's son was crying.
Garcia and two others went to the neighbor's home to ask him to shoot further away.
Garcia told reporters after the vigil for his son, who died in an attack in Cleveland, Texas.
Francisco Oropeza (38), a suspect from several jurisdictions, was still at large on Sunday night despite the efforts of more than 200 officers.
Garcia called the cops after Oropeza refused his request. Now it was louder. The man continued to shoot. Garcia, who lived in a neighborhood of houses on one-acre lots, could see a man standing on his porch but not tell what he did.
Garcia stated that his family called the police five times. The dispatcher confirmed that help would be arriving five times.
The man then began running towards Garcia 10 to 20 minutes later, after he had returned from Oropeza’s house. He was reloading.
I told my wife to get inside. Garcia stated that the man had loaded his gun. My wife told me that I should go inside, because "he wouldn't shoot at me since I am a woman."
The gunman approached the house and started firing. Sonia Argentina Guzman (25), Garcia's 25-year-old wife, was the first victim to die at the front entrance.
In total, 15 people were in the house. Among them were several friends who came to accompany Garcia's wife for a church retreat. Garcia stated that the gunman appeared to be intent on killing all of them.
Garcia's son Daniel Enrique Laso and two women, who were shielding Garcia’s 2-year-old and baby, also died. Garcia claimed that one woman had told him to jump from a window because his children were without their mother, and one parent had to survive to care for them.
Garcia, who was crying, said: "I'm trying to be strong because of my children." My daughter understands. When she starts to ask for Mama and her older brother, it is difficult.
Greg Abbott offered $50,000 as a reward, and local officials along with the FBI chipped in to make the total $80,000.
James Smith, FBI Special Agent in Charge, said to reporters that he had no leads. He asked the public again for any tips about the incident in the rural community north of Houston, where the shooting occurred just before midnight on Friday.
The police recovered the AR-15 style rifle they claimed Oropeza had used in the shootings. Oropeza may have had more than one weapon in his house, but authorities are not certain.
He probably fled the area by foot. Investigators discovered clothes and a cellphone in the early hours of their search. But tracking dogs were unable to detect the scent.
Oropeza was identified by the authorities using a Mexican identity card that is issued to Mexican citizens living outside of Mexico, and also by doorbell video footage. He added that police had also interviewed the suspect’s wife several times.
Capers stated that he was hoping the reward money will motivate people to come forward with information. He also said there are plans to install billboards to spread the message in Spanish. Garcia, his wife and son who were killed, and the three other victims -- Diana Velazquez Alvarado (21), Julisa Rivera (31) and Jose Jonathan Casarez (18) -- are all from Honduras.
Capers stated that he was looking to bring closure to this family.
Capers, when asked about response times, said that officers arrived as quickly as possible and that there were only three officers covering 1,800 square kilometers (700 square miles).
On Sunday, the police crime scene tape had been removed from around Garcia’s home where people left flowers.
A Texas Department of Public Safety officer, FBI agents, and other officers went door-to-door in the neighborhood. One trooper asked a driver of a red pickup truck to let him look inside the travel trailer he was pulling.
Veronica Pineda (34), who lives directly across from the home of the suspect, told authorities that they asked if she would allow them to search her property in order to determine if he was hiding. She expressed her fear that the gunman was still at large.
She said, "It's kind of scary." You never know where he could be.
Pineda admitted that she did not know Oropeza very well, but saw him and his family riding their horses in the street from time to time. She said that the family lived in the area for about five to six years, and neighbors had complained about gunfire before.
Garcia did not also know Oropeza very well, although their wives would sometimes talk. He said that the man once helped him to cut down a large tree.