38-year-old American Kills 8-yr-old Boy, 5 Others, Police Begin Manhunt
A 38-year-old American male, Francisco Oropeza with an AR-15-style assault weapon has shot and killed five people yesterday, including an 8-year-old, authorities said Saturday.
The gunman fled the crime scene, prompting an ongoing manhunt, According to Washington Post.
Authorities charged Francisco Oropeza, 38, with five counts of murder and were searching for him Saturday morning, San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers told The Washington Post.
Washington Post reported that ten people were in the home during the shooting. Three women, a man and an 8-year-old boy were killed, a source said.
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The suspect was the victim’s neighbour and went to their home Friday night after they asked him to stop shooting an AR-15-style rifle in his front yard because of the noise, Capers said.
Oropeza frequently shot the rifle in his yard, Capers said and allegedly became angry when the neighbours said their baby was trying to sleep around or after 11 p.m. Authorities saw video footage of Oropeza walking up to the victim’s front door before going inside.
“The neighbours walked over and said … ‘Hey man, can you not do that, we’ve got an infant in here trying to sleep’ or whatever,” Capers said. “They went back in their house and then we have a video of him walking up their driveway with his AR-15.”
Law enforcement officers responded to the Cleveland home after a report of “harassment” at about 11:30 p.m. Friday, Capers told reporters early Saturday morning.
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The adults were declared dead at the scene, and the 8-year-old died at a hospital, according to the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office. The people in the house were family members, Capers said.
Three children survived the shooting. Two of the women who were killed were found lying on top of the young children in a bedroom, “trying to protect them,” Capers told The Post by phone from the scene.
“It’s horrific,” Capers said. “No one should ever have to look at this scene, the blood, the trauma that went on in that house.”
The children were taken to a hospital and were not injured, Capers said.
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Cleveland is about 40 miles northeast of downtown Houston. All of the victims were from Honduras and the suspect was from Mexico, Capers said.
The victims had moved to Cleveland from Harris County, where Houston is located. They lived in a “regular country neighbourhood” known as Trails End, Capers said, estimating that their house was between 1,500 and 1,800 square feet.
The shooter fled after the killings but was believed to be about 2 miles away from the home Saturday morning, Capers said. Authorities issued a warrant for Oropeza’s arrest Saturday, the news release said.
“We’re searching for him,” Capers told KHOU. “We don’t believe him to be in the area.”
This killing makes it the 19th in the U.S.
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The killings add to a growing list of recent shootings carried out by armed Americans who have shot people in response to what should have been normal, everyday interactions.
This month, an Illinois man was fatally shot by a neighbour angry about his leaf blower; a 20-year-old woman was shot and killed by a New York homeowner after accidentally pulling into the wrong driveway; a 6-year-old and her father were shot by a neighbour in North Carolina after the child’s basketball rolled into his yard.
Those violent confrontations followed the April 13 shooting of Ralph Yarl, a Black teenager who was picking up his siblings and was shot by a White man when he accidentally rang the doorbell of the wrong home.
Tribunal Admits U.S. Court Judgment Ordering Tinubu’s Forfeiture Of $460,000
The Labour Party on Tuesday called its first witness in the ongoing petition between its candidate, Peter Obi, and the ruling All Progressives Congress and the President, Bola Tinubu.
Counsel for the LP and Obi, Jibrin Okutepa, stated that documents from number one to four together with receipts tendered are documents where the vice president, Kashim Shettima, accepted his nomination as the vice-presidential candidate of the APC.
The witness, Lawrence Nwakaeti, who is a legal practitioner, disclosed that he was deposed to the witness statement on March 20, 2023.
Part of the documents deposed to by Nwakaeti referred to the alleged $460,000 forfeiture by Tinubu to the government of the United States.
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One of the grounds on which the LP and Obi are praying for the court to nullify Tinubu’s victory is that the president, Tinubu “at the time of the election was not qualified to contest for election to the office of President as he was fined the sum of $460,000 for an offence involving dishonesty, namely narcotics trafficking imposed by the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, in Case No: 93C 4483.”
While answering questions during the cross-examination, the witness admitted that the judgment was not registered in Nigeria.
He also admitted that there was no certificate from any consular in Nigeria or America in support of the judgment.
He, however, maintained that “the judgment speaks for itself.”
APC counsel, Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, asked, “As a lawyer, you are aware that these documents are not registered in Nigeria and there is no certificate attached to the document from the US?” to which Lawrence replied that there are certificates.
“Is there a certificate from the US consular?”
“No certificate from the consular,” Nwakaeti replied.
He also said he had no knowledge of a February 4, 2003, Formal Clearance Report by Legal Attachee from the American Embassy in respect of the alleged indictment and forfeiture.
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When asked by Fagbemi, SAN, to produce a copy of the charges against Tinubu, the witness said he had none but maintained that the forfeiture are from civil proceedings.
“You are aware that all the proceedings were civil proceedings?”
“Civil forfeiture proceedings,” the witness replied.
Meanwhile, the Presiding Justice of the Court, Justice Haruna Simon Tsammani has shifted further hearing in the petition till May 31.
Otti Freezes Abia Accounts, Sacks Boards Executives
Governor Alex Otti of Abia State, has directed the immediate freezing of all accounts of the state government and those of its agencies domiciled in every bank and financial institution across the state and around the federation.
He has also dissolved all boards of Abia State government agencies and parastatals and ordered the heads of all the dissolved agencies and parastatals to subsequently hand over to those next in line to them.
The governor gave the orders in a statement he issued through his media office on Monday, which was signed by Mr Ferdinand Ekeoma, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity.
The directive read in part, “With this notice, all banks and other financial institutions in the country are directed to immediately seize from honouring any cheque, document, instrument or directive of any kind not expressly approved by or emanating from him.
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“Similarly, Governor Otti has directed the immediate dissolution of all boards of the Abia State Government agencies and parastatals and subsequently ordered the chief executives of these organisations to hand over to those next in line to them”.
The reporter gathered that the news of the sack of the former chief executives of the dissolved boards sparked celebration among staff of such agencies, especially those who were owed some months of salary arrears.
PICTORIAL: Obi, Datti, Keyamo Present As Tribunal Resumes Hearing
The presidential and vice-presidential candidates of the Labour Party, Peter Obi and Datti Baba-Ahmed, are currently in attendance at the ongoing presidential election tribunal PUNCH reports.
Former minister of state for labour and employment, Festus Keyamo, is also present at the tribunal and appearing as a counsel in the legal team of President Bola Tinubu.
Obi and the Labour Party filed a petition challenging the victory of Tinubu, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, in the February 25, 2023 Presidential election.
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In the petition marked CA/PEPC/03/2023, Livy Ozoukwu, lead counsel to LP and Obi, said Tinubu “was not duly elected by the majority of the lawful votes cast at the time of the election”.
Among other allegations, they claimed that Kashim Shettima, vice-president, had a double nomination in contravention of the electoral act.
A proper hearing of the petition commenced on Tuesday and the first witness has been called.
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