DALLAS — The escaped Texas inmate on the run for three weeks was killed in a shootout Thursday after he killed an grownup and 4 youngsters at a house, officers stated.
Gonzalo Lopez, 46, had no connection to the household that was discovered useless in Leon County in east Texas, stated Jason Clark, chief of employees for the Texas Division of Legal Justice.
He has been lacking since Could 12 when he stabbed a prison bus driver in the hand and escaped on foot in rural Texas, officers stated.
He took a truck from that dwelling, which is about midway between Dallas and Houston, and regulation enforcement in Atascosa County, south of San Antonio, noticed it and began following, Clark stated.
After the tires had been spiked and a brief chase, Lopez crashed right into a tree. He received out with a gun and shot at officers who fired again and killed Lopez, Clark stated.
It was not instantly clear what division the officers who killed Lopez had been from, he stated. No officers had been injured.
Lopez had an AR-15 and a pistol, Clark stated, although it was not instantly clear the place the firearms got here from and which was used within the shootout.
The shootout occurred round 10:30 p.m. within the metropolis of Jourdanton, about 250 miles southwest of Leon County, the place Lopez escaped last month after stabbing a prison bus driver.
Officers looking for Lopez obtained a name from an individual who had not heard from family, and when officers went to the house on Thursday they found the our bodies, Clark stated.
“It is a tragedy that you simply had 5 people who misplaced their lives,” Clark stated. “I’m grateful that tonight Gonzalo Lopez is unable to hurt anybody else.”
The household is assumed to have arrived Thursday to the home, which was getting used as their trip property, and had been slain later within the afternoon, Clark stated.
The house on Texas Freeway 7, a few quarter mile west of Interstate 45, was contained in the perimeter the place regulation enforcement have been looking for Lopez and had been checked and cleared “a number of instances,” he stated.
He couldn’t say whether or not authorities had spoken instantly with the household, who had been from Houston. Their identities haven’t been launched.
The TDCJ initially stated the useless included two adults and three youngsters, however in a later replace stated one grownup and 4 minors had been killed.
Greater than 300 regulation enforcement officers — on foot and horseback and with canine and helicopters — had looked for him within the space of ranches and farms in Leon County after he escaped final month.
After 9 days of looking, the manhunt entered an “expanded phase” after Lopez couldn’t be discovered. However regulation enforcement maintained a presence within the space as a result of there was no proof that he had left, Clark stated Thursday.
Lopez was serving life in jail for convictions of capital homicide and tried capital homicide.
Lopez, who authorities have stated has a historical past with gangs in Mexico and the U.S., was convicted of kidnapping a person in 2005 and killing him with a decide axe after he didn’t pay a ransom, officers stated.
He was additionally convicted in 2007 of tried capital homicide, stemming from a 2004 incident during which the motive force of a automobile he was in shot at a Webb County sheriff’s deputy throughout a chase, in response to court docket data. Lopez received away on foot.
Within the Could 12 escape, Lopez was on a bus with different inmates and being pushed from a jail in Gatesville to Huntsville for a medical appointment, the Texas Division of Legal Justice has stated.
Lopez freed himself of his restraints, minimize by way of a chunk of metallic in a barrier separating the motive force and crawled beneath the cage to assault the motive force on a freeway west of Centerville, the division stated.
In the course of the wrestle, the motive force and Lopez left the bus. A second officer within the again received out by way of a rear door and confronted Lopez. Lopez received again within the bus and began driving, in response to the division.
The officers shot the rear tire and the bus went off the freeway a brief distance away. Lopez received out and ran throughout a pasture to a wooded space, the company has stated.
A reward for data resulting in his arrest grew to $50,000.
Clark stated the division would conduct a severe incident assessment to find out how Lopez was capable of escape.
“We are going to uncover how he did it and make any changes which are vital,” he stated.
Lopez was in a separate caged space for high-security inmates. The opposite inmates on the bus remained of their restraints, officers stated.
Apart from the bus driver who was stabbed, nobody else was injured.
Lopez was capable of elude regulation enforcement earlier than — after the 2004 pursuit in Webb County, on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Following an arrest in 2005 on unrelated costs, Lopez wrote in an announcement that he bumped into the comb and walked for hours earlier than calling somebody for assist and being picked up, in response to court docket paperwork.
He was finally moved to Mexico by the Mexican Mafia to attend for issues to relax in Texas, he stated within the assertion.