Texas gunman who killed 5 was illegal immigrant with cartel tattoos, multiple deportations

The Santa Muerte death cult is worshipped by many cartel members.

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC
It has been revealed that the illegal migrant accused of killing five of his neighbors in Texas had tattoos associated with Mexican cartels, namely the widely-worshipped Santa Muerte death cult.

When authorities searched the home of 38-year-old Francisco Oropesa, they discovered a shrine honoring the group, complete with statues, flowers, cash, and drugs presented to the powers that be as an offering. Belief in the cult is practiced by many cartel members, as they believe their prayers will protect them from being captured. 

According to the Daily Mail, Oropesa had four large tattoos dedicated to the cult, including one depicting an Aztec woman in a traditional headdress on his forearm, a crudely drawn man on his back, and one symbol on each upper arm. The figure on his left upper arm appears to be Santa Muerte, the saint of death. 

The Santa Muerte death cult is ubiquitous in Mexico's drug cartel scene, leading authorities to believe that Oropesa may have criminal connections. He had been deported four times since 2009, however, no details were provided regarding what he had done.

Oropesa was captured on Tuesday near Cleveland, Texas by the Border Patrol Tactical Unit following a four-day manhunt. He was arrested and subsequently charged with murder for killing five neighbors, including an 8-year-old child on the night of April 28.

After one of Oropesa's neighbors allegedly asked him to stop shooting what authorities believe to be an illegally obtained gun in his yard so that their baby could sleep, he entered their home and opened fire. The victims, who all hailed from the same Honduran family, ranged in age from eight to forty.

During a press conference following the arrest, San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers stated that the family can "rest easy" knowing Oropesa "will live out his life behind bars for killing those five."

Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Houston Field Office, Jimmy Paul, explained that Oropesa had been located thanks to a call placed by an anonymous source to the agency's tip line.

"Thank you to the person who had the courage to call in this tip," he said. "We always said it wasn't a matter of 'if' but 'when' he would be captured, and we're glad this evening was that 'when' we've all been waiting for."

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