May 3, 2023

FBI Holds Press Conference After Arrest of Texas Mass Shooting Suspect Transcript

FBI Holds Press Conference After Arrest of Texas Mass Shooting Suspect Transcript
RevBlogTranscriptsFBIFBI Holds Press Conference After Arrest of Texas Mass Shooting Suspect Transcript

The FBI held a press conference after officials captured a man suspected in a mass shooting near the Texas town of Cleveland last week that left five people dead. Read the transcript here.

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Sheriff Capers (00:00):

… Capers, San Jacinto County Sheriff’s office with great news. The suspect is in custody. I have just left Montgomery County Jail where he was taken and he has been magistrated. He now will be taken to my jail and where his new residents will be. I would like to thank the men behind me and the women behind me. There are not women here right now, but everybody played a very, very integral part in the arrest and capture of this coward. Everybody behind me has worked tirelessly. I know that there are several people out of these 225 plus officers at this scene, not to include the millions of people thanks to the media, y’all pushed the message out. But we’ve had calls from Wyoming, Florida, south Texas, north Texas, Oklahoma, Maryland, and those are just a few of the places. We were here, they were there, bottom line is we now have this man in custody. He was caught hiding in a closet underneath some laundry. They effectively made the arrest. He is uninjured and he is currently being taken to my facility in Cold Springs. Thank you.

Speaker 2 (01:49):

Can you tell us how you guys were able to find him? What clues led you to him today?

Sheriff Capers (01:58):

Well, it was a multi-jurisdictional operation to say the least. Somebody got a tip, DPSCID US Marshals, FBI. We had attack team. They all meandered over there and found that tip to be true.

Speaker 2 (02:19):

And was this home a relative’s home? Did he know where he was?

Sheriff Capers (02:21):

That’s unknown to me. Maybe one of these guys behind me can speak to the actual information on how he was actually captured.

Speaker 3 (02:29):

What’s your message to the family members, the surviving family members of those people who were killed in this attack?

Sheriff Capers (02:36):

Well, they can rest easy now because he is behind bars and he will live out his life behind bars for killing those five.

Speaker 4 (02:48):

Hey guys, we have time for questions afterwards. Sheriff, if ASAC.

Sheriff Capers (02:50):


Speaker 4 (02:51):

Yes, please.

Sheriff Capers (02:52):

This is the ASAC.

Jimmy Paul (02:56):

Hey, good evening. Thank you Sheriff Capers. My name is Jimmy Paul. I’m an assistant special agent in charge with the FBI Houston Division. Thanks for having me. So just wanted to say first and foremost, the victims and their families are in the forefront of our minds and we’re extremely delighted that the suspect was captured. The tip for the suspect’s location came in through the FBI’s tip line and we just want to thank the person who had the courage and bravery to call in the suspect’s location.

Ted Williams (03:29):

Special agent Paul, Ted Williams Fox News. Do you know if this individual will be facing federal charges?

Jimmy Paul (03:39):

Currently, it’s an ongoing investigation and he’s being charged by the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office.

Speaker 7 (03:44):

What is the connection to the person who was harboring Oropesa?

Jimmy Paul (03:48):

Sir, it’s an ongoing investigation. I can’t comment on that at this point.

Speaker 7 (03:51):

Did he give any indication why he did this? What was his demeanor when he was apprehended? Was he agitated? Was he tired?

Speaker 4 (03:58):

Hey guys, we’re going to let him get through his statement, and the US Marshals and afterwards we will take questions. Is that cool?

Jimmy Paul (04:04):

Okay, thank you. I just wanted to thank the person who had the courage to call in the tip and also I’d like to thank the many FBI personnel and local law enforcement agencies who worked nonstop to bring this person to justice, to bring a sense of justice to the victims and also a sense of security to the community of the San Jacinto County community. This is basically what we do. We show up, we bring the adequate resources and then we don’t let up. We’ve always said it’s not a matter of if but a matter of when the suspect’s going to be caught, and we’re extremely glad that today is the when. At this time, I’d like to turn it over to the US Marshal service representative.

Joe Ruiz de Chavez (04:49):

Good evening. My name is Joe Ruiz de Chavez. I’m a supervisory deputy US Marshal. I oversee the Gulf Coast violent offenders and fugitive task force here in Houston, Texas. First I want to say that this was an atrocious crime that devastated this community and this country. We received a call for request from Sheriff Capers and we brought expertise and fugitive investigations and personnel to assist in this investigation. The Marshal Service is the oldest, oldest federal law enforcement agency and we have an expertise in hunting fugitives. This is a very sad time for the victims and I hope that this will bring them some comfort and they could grieve. Thank you.

Speaker 4 (05:43):

We’ll open up for questions now.

Speaker 9 (05:44):

Sir, can you tell us if Oropesa had any help from anybody? Can you tell us if Oropesa had help from family members or any of their friends in the area to help him hide for the last four days?

Joe Ruiz de Chavez (05:54):

I can say that we’ve contacted many families, associates, not only here in the Houston area but across the country.

Speaker 9 (06:03):

Does that mean he’s had help over the last four days from family?

Joe Ruiz de Chavez (06:05):

I can’t comment on that.

Speaker 9 (06:06):

And did he ever reach out to any family members after the shooting incident on Friday night?

Joe Ruiz de Chavez (06:11):

I can’t comment on that.

Speaker 10 (06:14):

The female detained at the scene. Who was that?

Joe Ruiz de Chavez (06:17):

Again, this is an ongoing investigation and we can’t disclose that.

Speaker 11 (06:20):

Sheriff Caper, you had mentioned previously that there were multiple occasions, you weren’t exactly sure how many of police being called to that property for a firearm being discharged, then we learned that Oropesa was removed from the country four times and then in 2022 a protective order that was filed by his wife for domestic abuse. At any point did that prompt further investigation from your office?

Sheriff Capers (06:41):

Yes sir. We actually filed charges on him in 2022, and to the best of my knowledge, we got a warrant for him and the Constable went to serve him in another county because he left here and never could make contact with the subject. And then a few days later the victim went to the District Attorney’s Office in our county and filed a non-prosecution statement.

Speaker 12 (07:16):

Sorry to belabor this point, but the address where this arrest took place have court documents that showed it traces back to an aunt of Oropesa, I believe. Is that still the case that this would be a home of a family member? Can anybody confirm that?

Sheriff Capers (07:33):

I can’t. Really, it’s still ongoing, the investigation part. I wasn’t part of the arrest team.

Speaker 13 (07:42):

Do we have any idea how he got from the place that the shooting happened to Cut and Shoot? Did he use a vehicle? Did he walk? Do you guys have any idea what the was?

Sheriff Capers (07:53):

Once again, not that I know of. I have no knowledge.

Speaker 14 (07:53):

You mentioned multiple agencies. Was DHS also involved? Was BORTAC the agency who actually went in and made the apprehension?

Sheriff Capers (08:02):

They were part of that team I do believe, yes ma’am.

Speaker 14 (08:06):

And now with the surviving wife that’s still living at that home, she is currently an ICE fugitive. Is anything happening with her? Is she being investigated? Are there follow-ups happening with her? I’ve understood from Deputy’s that she has been cooperating.

Sheriff Capers (08:19):

And to my knowledge, she is still there because the officers are still there. I have no direct knowledge because this has all happened within the last couple of hours. But she is still there.

Speaker 15 (08:30):

Sheriff, if you don’t mind. Do you guys believe that large reward that was put out, is that what made that person call in this tip? And will that money be going to the person who called in that tip?

Sheriff Capers (08:41):

The money will be going to the person that called in the tip through the proper channels. Yes, ma’am. I’m thinking it’s still 80,000.

Ted Williams (08:51):

Sheriff Caper, we know that he’s been in this country since 2016 illegally, meaning Oropesa. The question is, and he had an AR-15 rifle that he was shooting the night of this incident, have you ever been able to connect the dots as to how an illegal alien was able to purchase or to get that AR- 15 weapon?

Sheriff Capers (09:20):

Well, I could just speak to conjecture, buy it from somebody else on the street.

Ted Williams (09:26):

Are you conducting an investigation to try to connect those dots?

Sheriff Capers (09:30):

Yes sir. We are. That is an ongoing investigation as well.

Speaker 7 (09:33):

Sir, when did you learn that the suspect was at this address and when did you actually go in? What was the time? The specific time?

Sheriff Capers (09:41):

For tonight’s arrest?

Speaker 7 (09:42):

Well, yeah, when did you first learn that he was there and then when did you actually go in?

Sheriff Capers (09:45):

We would probably need to defer that to the FBI or the US Marshals.

Jimmy Paul (09:49):

We received the tip at 5:15.

Speaker 4 (09:52):

Can you step up, sir? Sorry.

Jimmy Paul (09:52):

Sorry about that. We received the tip at 5:15 PM and the arrest was made at 6:30 PM.

Speaker 7 (09:57):

Can any of the participating agencies discuss how surprised were you when you ended up finding Oropesa 15 miles away or less from where this crime was committed?

Jimmy Paul (10:10):

I can’t really speak on that. I can just tell you that we’re just extremely happy that the citizen had the courage and the bravery to call in that tip.

Speaker 17 (10:18):

Had you guys searched that area before you got the tip or did you just search there once you got the tip?

Jimmy Paul (10:26):

I’m not sure if it was searched before, but we immediately dispatched the team out there as soon as we got the tip.

Speaker 4 (10:33):

We’re going to take three more questions.

Speaker 14 (10:35):

Were other homes searched as well, known areas, known accomplices or any of his family members? Were those areas searched specifically as well? I know he’s been talking about family. We’re obviously hearing that this was a family’s home that this person was found, so were other family homes searched as well? Was this one just a random tip? What happened? Were there other families around?

Jimmy Paul (10:55):

As far as we know, this if just a one time random tip, but we’ve contacted multiple houses and families throughout the area.

Speaker 14 (11:04):

What does contact mean? Have you gone in, did you search these homes-

Jimmy Paul (11:07):


Speaker 14 (11:07):

… through laundry piles in other families homes?

Jimmy Paul (11:10):

We’ve done knock and talks with multiple homes throughout the area and we’ve gotten consent from the homeowners to go in and take a look. So we’ve done those kind of actions. Yeah.

Speaker 4 (11:21):

Two more questions.

Speaker 18 (11:26):

Sheriff, is anyone else in custody or in questioning tonight?

Jimmy Paul (11:29):

Oh, sorry Sheriff.

Sheriff Capers (11:30):

No ma’am. Nobody else is in custody tonight and I’m assuming that they are still at the house questioning the people that were at the house where the suspect was arrested.

Speaker 15 (11:40):

Did you guys find anyone else, any other injuries while the suspect was on the run? Has anyone hurt in his quest to kind of evade law enforcement?

Jimmy Paul (11:47):

As far as we know, we do not know anybody else that was injured.

Speaker 7 (11:52):

Did he make any comment? What was his demeanor when he was placed under arrest?

Sheriff Capers (11:58):

Yes sir.

Speaker 19 (12:00):

Any formal criminal charges filed. Do you know what those are yet?

Sheriff Capers (12:03):


Speaker 19 (12:04):

Five counts?

Sheriff Capers (12:04):

Five counts of murder. $5 million bond.

Speaker 19 (12:07):

Not capital murder?

Speaker 20 (12:07):

Five million?

Sheriff Capers (12:07):

No sir.

Speaker 19 (12:07):


Speaker 4 (12:07):

Thank you very much everyone.

Sheriff Capers (12:07):

Not at this time.

Speaker 20 (12:08):

There is a video in social media, is correct person Francisco Oropesa?

Sheriff Capers (12:16):

Say it one more time.

Speaker 20 (12:17):

There is a video in social media, is the correct video, the correspondent Francisco Oropesa?

Sheriff Capers (12:23):

I haven’t had time to visit social media.

Speaker 4 (12:26):

Thank you very much everyone. I’m going to clarify. Thank you very much everyone. Thank you guys very much. Guys, I want to clarify some of the spellings and answer some of the roundup questions here. I know that there are questions very quickly about the speakers that just were up here. Again, San Jacinto County Sheriff, Greg Capers, FBI Assistant, Special Agent in Charge, Jimmy Paul, P-A-U-L, as well as supervisory Deputy US Marshal, Joe Ruiz de Chavez, R-U-I-Z space, D-E space, C-H-A-V-E-Z. Now, I know that there are a few questions outstanding. Were there any others that were left out?

Speaker 7 (13:10):

How long did it take for them to actually respond? There’s been a lot of conjecture about the amount of time for police response, specifically from family members who lost loved ones, that said they were calling 911.

Speaker 4 (13:19):

You’re talking to the initial shooting?

Speaker 7 (13:21):


Speaker 4 (13:21):

So that is still under investigation. That’s part of the ongoing investigation into this. But the Sheriff will be releasing something later, I believe, but at this point in time, that’s part of the ongoing investigation.

Speaker 21 (13:35):

Do we have the murder weapon?

Speaker 4 (13:36):

I’m sorry, say that again.

Speaker 21 (13:37):

Was the murder weapon in this case recovered? Do you guys have the actual gun that they believe was used

Speaker 4 (13:43):

At this point in time this is very fresh, right? We just got him into custody. This is ongoing. So a lot of the questions you guys had, they’re great questions, but it’s ongoing.

Speaker 21 (13:52):

Which agency went inside and got him?

Speaker 4 (13:55):

Yes. I would actually like to clarify. Someone asked about BORTAC, so I would like to clarify. This obviously was a lot of different agencies helping out. San Jacinto Sheriff’s Office we’re the lead agency, FBI assisted. The three agencies that went into that house were the United States Marshal Service, Texas DPS, as well as the United States Border Patrol BORTAC team. Those three elite agencies were the ones who brought this fugitive into custody.

Speaker 21 (14:23):

Can you spell BORTAC?

Speaker 4 (14:24):

It’s a shortening of, I believe Border Patrol Tactical team. But BORTAC, B-O-R-T-A-C. But please check with their website.

Speaker 22 (14:33):

Border Patrol, DPS and Marhals?

Speaker 4 (14:35):

Border Patrol, DPS and Marshals. Yeah.

Speaker 21 (14:35):

DPS, not Rangers?

Speaker 4 (14:38):

Texas DPS. Rangers are a part of DPS.

Speaker 15 (14:39):

[inaudible 00:14:40]?

Speaker 4 (14:42):

I’m unsure of that. And that’s probably the last question I’m going to take tonight, guys. Again, thank you all so much for coming out. I’ll be over here for a while, but thank you very much.

Speaker 7 (14:50):

Thank you [inaudible 00:14:51].

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