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Survivor who misplaced spouse, son in lethal Cleveland, Texas, capturing speaks out: ‘He shot them within the head’

A person who narrowly survived after shedding his spouse and younger son in a lethal capturing in Cleveland, Texas, spoke out about what prompted a neighbor to open fireplace on the household.

Wilson Garcia spoke to reporters Sunday afternoon at a vigil hosted at Northside Elementary Sunday. That is the place his son, Daniel Enrique Laso Guzman, attended the third grade earlier than the boy was murdered at dwelling Friday night. It was Garcia’s spouse, Sonia Argentina Guzman, 25, who was the primary to be fatally shot, allegedly by 38-year-old suspect Francisco Oropesa, in keeping with authorities.

“My spouse died, and my 9-year-old son died,” Garcia advised KHOU in Spanish on Sunday. “What can I say, I’m attempting to remain robust for my kids. My daughter sort of will get, understands issues. It is arduous when she involves me and begins asking for her mother and her brother.”

Folks of their rural city north of Houston are used to folks firing their weapons to blow off steam, nevertheless it was late Friday night time, and Garcia had a month-old son who was crying.


Mass capturing survivor Wilson Garcia turns into emotional throughout a vigil for his son, Daniel Enrique Laso, Sunday, April 30, 2023, in Cleveland, Texas. (AP Picture/David J. Phillip)

So, Garcia stated, he and two different folks went to his neighbor’s home to “respectfully” ask that Oropesa shoot farther away from their dwelling.

“He advised us he was on his property, and he may do what he needed,” Garcia stated Sunday. 

Garcia known as the police after Oropesa rejected his request. The man shot some extra, and now it sounded louder. Within the neighborhood of houses on one-acre tons, Garcia may see the person on his entrance porch however couldn’t inform what he was doing. His household continued to known as police – 5 calls in all, Garcia stated. 5 occasions the dispatcher assured that assist was coming.

After which, 10 to twenty minutes after Garcia had walked again from Oropesa’s home, the person began operating towards him, and reloading.

Mass shooting survivor Wilson Garcia

Wilson Garcia talks to the media after a vigil for his son, Daniel Enrique Laso, Sunday, April 30, 2023, in Cleveland, Texas. (AP Picture/David J. Phillip)

“I advised my spouse, ‘Get inside. This man has loaded his weapon,'” Garcia stated. “My spouse advised me to go inside as a result of ‘he gained’t fireplace at me, I’m a lady.’”

The gunman walked as much as the house and started firing. Garcia’s spouse, Sonia Argentina Guzman, was on the entrance door. 

The home held 15 folks in all, a number of of them pals who had been there to affix Garcia’s spouse on a church retreat. The gunman appeared intent on killing everybody, Garcia stated.


Two girls who died – Diana Velazquez Alvarado, 21, and Julisa Molina Rivera, 31 – had been killed whereas shielding Garcia’s child, 2-year-old daughter and a 3rd youngster. Jose Jonathan Casarez, 18, was additionally killed. 

Garcia stated one of many girls had advised him to leap out a window “as a result of my kids had been and not using a mom and one in every of their mother and father needed to keep alive to deal with them.” 

Three photos of Texas fugitive Francisco Oropesa and a fourth of his tattoo

FBI Houston launched the photographs of Francisco Oropesa, together with one in every of a distinguished tattoo on his left forearm. Oropesa is needed for the capturing of 5 folks. (FBI Houston)

“This tragedy that unfolded. He had no proper. We by no means offended him. We by no means disrespected him,” one other survivor, Jefrinson Rivera, advised FOX 26 Houston in a separate interview. 

Garcia, seated on a sofa beside Rivera, later advised FOX 26 he quickly got here again to the home the place he encountered the gunman. 

“That’s when the suspect shot at me. He shot at me 5 occasions in the home. When he didn’t catch me, he returned to gun them down once more, and he shot them within the head,” Garcia stated. 

“I regarded to my left, and he was pointing his gun at me,” Rivera recalled. “He advised me, ‘I used to be searching for you. I’m going to kill you.’”

The boys stated they threw a machete at Oropesa and had been in a position to run to security.

Cleveland, Texas, shooting survivors sit down for interview

Wilson Garcia and Jefrinson Rivera spoke to FOX 26 after 5 others had been killed in Cleveland, Texas. (FOX 26, KRIV)

“5 folks died. Diana and Julisa died protecting the youngsters. They died defending the youngsters,” Rivera stated. “I’m scared as a result of he can come again and search for us, however we’re hoping that police do their job and arrest him.”   


San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers has stated the surviving three kids had been lined in blood and dropped at a hospital by ambulance, however had been bodily unhurt. 

FBI Houston stated Monday morning that Oropesa remained at giant. Greater than 250 legislation enforcement officers from over a dozen native, state and federal businesses are actively looking out. Garcia and the deceased victims had been from Honduras. Oropesa, a Mexican nationwide, was reportedly within the U.S. illegally and had been deported at the very least 5 occasions. 

The Related Press contributed to this report. 

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