Family of Fort Worth man worried about his safety after he was misidentified as gunman in mass shooting
FORT WORTH, Texas - A Fort Worth man and his family say they are terrified and angry after the FBI originally posted his photo and identified him as the suspected shooter that killed five people near Houston Friday night.
He shares the same name as the suspect, but his last name is spelled with a Z instead of an S.
That mistake, he says, has caused him and his family to receive death threats this weekend.
Francisco Oropeza’s family said he just started a new job in North Texas last week.
He's a husband and has children.
Now, his entire family is unsure if they will even leave their homes anytime soon.
"What if somebody sees the tweet and sees a Facebook share and sees the picture, and then they see him. You know?" his sister-in-law said.
A Fort Worth family is now fearful after the FBI admitted it wrongly identified a man who is a wanted fugitive for killing five of his neighbors in Cleveland, Texas.
READ MORE: 'He could be anywhere now,' Search continues for Texas gunman accused of killing 5 in mass shooting
FOX 4 spoke to a woman Sunday who said that incorrect photo was of her brother-in-law, a husband and father of four who lives in Fort Worth.
We are not naming the woman for her safety.
"They haven’t gone outside or anything, but yeah absolutely. He’s a truck driver. He drives all the U.S.," she said. "Somebody could see him somewhere."
The woman said the armed and dangerous suspect wanted out of San Jacinto County and her brother-in-law share a similar name but have different spellings.
She said her brother-in-law called the FBI himself on Sunday, panicking.
He explained to investigators that they had posted a picture of the wrong man and that the photo used was his newly taken CDL photo.
"At that point, we were like. ‘Oh gosh. What do we do?’ This is being shared basically nationwide. It’s all over the place," she recalled.
An hour after that call, FBI Houston tweeted about their mistake, including new images of suspect Francisco Oropesa, and made it clear that, going forward, the suspect’s last name will be spelled Oropesa, with an S instead of a Z.
"We went back, looked at what we had, and now we are 100% confident we have the right photo out there, but it was, it was a mistake. We will own up on it," said James Smith, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Houston field office.
At Sunday afternoon’s press conference, the FBI addressed the mistake to reporters.
"As you can see, an investigation like this, we're receiving information from a whole slew of agencies and the citizens. And it was a mistake on our side of it. We identified it. We acted quickly to remove that photo," Smith added.
But the Fort Worth family said screenshots and incorrect articles are still circulating on the web.
"It’s very horrible mistake. I wish they would do better journaling before they post. With such a huge deal, do research on who the person is," his sister-in-law said.
The family was reportedly told an FBI agent would visit their home Sunday, but at last check Sunday afternoon, they were staying at home waiting for the agent to arrive.