The neighbors of a man who was known for firing a gun in the yard of his Texas home walked over to his house late on Friday night to ask him to stop because the noise was keeping their baby up, officials said.
The man stopped briefly, but moments later he went to the neighbor’s home and fatally shot five people, including an 8-year-old child, “almost execution-style,” the authorities said.
Four people were pronounced dead at the scene in Cleveland, Texas, which is about 45 miles northeast of Houston, and a fifth person died at a hospital, the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office said.
Three other people were taken to hospitals. Their conditions were not immediately known. The victims were all from Honduras, officials said.
The authorities identified the suspected gunman as Francisco Oropeza, 38. It was unknown if he had a criminal record.
Officials said he had fled the area and remained at large. Several law enforcement agencies were searching homes and wooded areas on foot and with drones to find Mr. Oropeza, Sheriff Greg Capers of San Jacinto County said in a phone interview on Saturday.
He said investigators believed that Mr. Oropeza had been drinking and firing shots in his yard when the victims walked over to ask him to stop.
“He said, ‘I’ll do what I want to in my front yard,’” Sheriff Capers told reporters earlier on Saturday.
The sheriff said that after the neighbors asked him to stop firing, they returned to their home and Mr. Oropeza went back inside his. But moments later, he emerged armed with a gun and headed for the neighbors’ house.
Deputies received a harassment complaint from the neighbors around 11:30 p.m. on Friday, according to the sheriff’s office. When they responded, they found multiple gunshot victims, Sheriff Capers said.
Robert Freyer, the first assistant district attorney of the criminal district attorney’s office in San Jacinto County, said there were 10 people in the house.
Two of the victims were women. One man, a 15-year-old girl and an 8-year-old boy were also killed. The identities of the victims have not yet been made public.
Sheriff Capers told reporters that the bodies of two women were found in a bedroom on top of two children, both of whom survived.
“Everybody that was shot was shot from the neck up, almost execution-style,” Sheriff Capers said.
He told reporters that Mr. Oropeza was known to “frequently” fire an AR-15 in his front yard. It was unclear what type of firearm the gunman used on Friday night.
The case is among the latest in a recent spate of shootings that stemmed from seemingly brief interactions.
This month, a homeowner in Missouri shot a 16-year-old who rang the wrong doorbell, a 20-year-old woman in upstate New York was fatally shot after driving into the wrong driveway, and two cheerleaders in Texas were shot after one got into the wrong car.