White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Monday avoided mentioning that the man accused of murdering five people, including an eight-year-old child, in Cleveland, Texas, is an illegal immigrant who was previously deported five times.
Jean-Pierre opened the daily White House Press briefing with an update on the manhunt for the suspect, 38-year-old Francisco Oropesa, and while she made no mention of his illegal immigrant status or the number of times he had been deported, repeated calls for Congress to ban AR-15 style firearms that she referred to as “weapons of war.”
Oropesa, who is a Mexican national, allegedly committed the execution-style murders last Friday after a family member of the victims complained about him firing a rifle in the middle of the night. He then allegedly entered the neighbor’s house with the rifle and fired at the individuals inside. Five of the ten people living in the home were killed.
A source from ICE told Fox News Digital about Oropesa’s previous deportations, including that his last run-in with the agency was in 2016.
The administration previously refused to comment on Oropesa’s immigration status when DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas was asked about it by NBC’s Chuck Todd over the weekend.
“I won’t comment on it because it is an active case. The tragedy that occurred is … just absolutely horrific,” Mayorkas said.
More than 48 hours after the massacre, authorities are offering an $80,000 reward for information that leads to Oropesa’s capture. According to the FBI, more than 250 law enforcement officers from over a dozen agencies are actively searching for Oropesa.
The White House did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Fox News’ Brie Stimson, Bill Melugin and Danielle Wallace contributed to this report.