Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott sparked outrage after tweeting the immigration status of victims of a mass shooting that took place in Cleveland, Texas over the weekend.
In an official statement made on Sunday, Abbott referred to the victims of the shooting as "illegal immigrants" and called the suspected shooter "someone who is in the country illegally."
And in a message posted to his official Twitter account, Abbott employed similar language, writing:
"I've announced a $50K reward for info on the criminal who killed 5 illegal immigrants Friday. Also directed Operation Lone Star to be on the lookout."
"I continue working with state [and] local officials to ensure all available resources are deployed to respond."
You can see Abbott's tweet below.
The shooter claimed the lives of five individuals, including an eight-year-old boy.
The incident is believed to have occurred when Oropesa was asked to stop firing a weapon in his front yard. However, he allegedly responded by shooting five people, all of whom were from Honduras, according to officials.
Authorities have not publicly disclosed the victims' citizenship status.
Abbott's announcement of a $50,000 reward for information leading to Oropesa's capture has come under scrutiny, with some arguing that his emphasis on the victims' immigration status has contributed to a culture of xenophobia and racism in the state.
Many have criticized Abbott's remarks as a result.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has already offered an $80,000 reward for information leading to the capture of the shooter.
More than 200 law enforcement agents are actively searching for him.
While it was believed they had him within a 2-mile search area on Saturday, the suspect managed to slip past it after leaving his cellphone and clothing behind.
According to San Jacinto Sheriff Greg Capers, scent-tracking dogs lost the shooter's trail on Saturday, which has complicated the search efforts. As a result, he could be as far as 20 miles away or even farther.
The police have intensified their search, with over 150 officers involved on Saturday, and over 200 involved on Sunday. They have been going door to door in the hopes of gathering tips that could lead to his capture.