Tragedy struck a small town Cleveland, located about 55 miles north of Houston, when a suspect armed with an AR-15 style rifle (police reported) shot and killed five people in a home. The incident happened at approximately 11:31 p.m. local time, after officials from the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office received a call about harassment in the area. When authorities arrived at the location, they found several victims shot at the property.
According to ABC News, the victims were between the ages of eight and 40-years-old, with the youngest being just eight years old. Two female victims were discovered in the bedroom, lying on top of two surviving children. The shooter, a Mexican male, is reportedly intoxicated and armed with an AR-15 style rifle. Authorities are looking for a Hispanic male who is approximately 5’8” tall, last seen wearing blue jeans with a black shirt and work boots, and described as having short black hair.
The San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office revealed that the suspect had been known to shoot his rifle in his front yard, and shell casings were found at the location. At least 10 people were in the home when police arrived on the scene, and all of the victims were from Honduras.
Sheriff Greg Capers of the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office spoke to ABC News’ Houston station KTRK and said that all of the victims were shot from the neck up “almost execution style.” He also confirmed that the shooter went to the house where the shooting took place after neighbors asked him to quiet down because a baby was trying to sleep. The shooter was known to shoot his AR-15 style rifle in his front yard, and two other weapons were found in the house following the shooting.
In a search for the suspect, police confirmed that they are interviewing the shooter’s wife. They also believe that the suspect is currently some 10 to 12 miles away from the crime scene, but they have not been able to locate him yet. Sheriff Capers said that even though the suspect is on the run, they do not believe he is currently in the area.
Locals in the Cleveland, Texas, area have been advised to “stay inside [and] stay clear” of the crime scene until the investigation has concluded. Nearby resident Veronica Pineda spoke with KTRK and said she has grown accustomed to neighbors shooting firearms in the area, and there is nothing being done about it. She said she did not know the alleged shooter well, but she would wave to him when he would pass by with his horses.