FBI Retracts Image of Man Wrongly Identified as Cleveland, TX Murder Suspect, Other Mistakes Made

(AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

A manhunt is underway searching for a suspect in the murder of five people, including a child, at a Cleveland, Texas home. The suspect is a 38-year-old man named Francisco Oropesa who is accused of attacking after neighbors asked him to stop firing his rifles outdoors, on Friday. Now, there are more than 200 law enforcement officers participating in the effort to capture the evading suspect, including door-to-door canvassing and putting up Spanish-language billboards.


RedState covered this story in detail, here: Five Killed in Texas Shooting, Police Are Searching for the Shooter, and the Gun Grabbers for a Reason to Look Away

Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) has offered a $50,000 reward for information about Oropesa, along with local officials and the FBI chipping in rewards bringing the total to $80,000. The FBI warns that Opopresa is considered to be armed and dangerous and should not be approached.

Francisco Oropeza, shooting suspect. (Credit: ABC 13)

Unfortunately, there have been some mistakes made in this case. The most innocuous error was that the initial reports by authorities stated the youngest victim, Daniel Guzman, was eight years old, which has since been clarified to reflect that he was nine years old.

The next public blunder came from Governor Abbott, when he announced the Rewards on Sunday in a statement, followed by a tweet. In his press release, the governor referenced the victims as five illegal immigrants. The Governor received criticism for mentioning their immigration status at all, but beyond that, his statement was not fully accurate. Carlos Eduardo Espina, a man identifying as an immigration activist, posted the ID card of one of the female victims, Diana Velasquez Alvarado, showing that she was a legal Permanent Resident of the United States since 2021. The fact-checking feature on Twitter, known as Community Notes, has added context to the Governor’s statement.

On Monday, Abbott’s office issued a second statement, acknowledging the error:


We’ve since learned that at least one of the victims may have been in the United States legally. We regret if the information was incorrect and detracted from the important goal of finding and arresting the criminal.

As Title 42 is set to expire next month, political tensions run high over the migrant crisis at the border. Outgoing Chicago Mayor Lightfoot Waxes Hypocritical at Texas Gov. Abbott About ‘Dangerous’ Illegals

The father of the nine-year-old victim Daniel Guzman and husband of victim Sonia Guzman has started a fundraiser to repatriate the bodies of his wife and son to their native country of Honduras. The family has exceeded their initial goal and is working with a consulate to make arrangements.

The most concerning mistake that transpired happened when the Houston area FBI revealed that they had published an incorrect image of another man that they purported to be the suspect, Oropesa.

The FBI Houston wrote:

An incorrect image of Francisco Oropeza with a blue backdrop was mistakenly disseminated earlier today. That image has since been removed from FBI social media accounts. Please do not use that photo. Law enforcement agencies continue the search for Oropeza.


A social media user, Jesus Javier Pimentel, commented on the FBI Houston’s Twitter post, claiming that the photo of the wrongly accused man is his brother, who is a family man. Pimentel noted that it is damaging to a person to incorrectly publish their photo, accusing them of five murders. Pimentel went on to claim the photo used of his brother was not a mugshot, but a photo from his commercial driver’s license.

About an hour after FBI Houston responded to using the wrong image and attributing it to the suspect, they made another clarification regarding the spelling of the suspect’s name, writing:

Going forward, the subject’s last name will be spelled “Oropesa” to better reflect his identity in law enforcement systems. This remains a fluid investigation.

But, this is not the first instance of the FBI “getting the wrong guy” this month. On April 5, during a downtown Boston training operation in collaboration with the Department of Defense, the agency breached the wrong hotel room, detaining a civilian instead of the intended role-playing actor. The civilian was a Delta Airline pilot, who was cuffed, interrogated, and put into a shower before law enforcement realized their mistake and released him.


The FBI made the following statement:

Based on inaccurate information, they were mistakenly sent to the wrong room and detained an individual, not the intended role-player.

An investigation into the incident will be led by US Army Special Operations.

While the public supports every effort to capture the evading murder suspect, it’s also worth noting that several individuals became victims of the agency’s incompetence recently. The thing about law enforcement is: When you do it, make sure you do it right.


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