Texas police shot and killed an escaped inmate on Thursday, too late for the family of five — including four children — the fugitive killed just hours earlier.
Gonzalo Lopez, 46, allegedly got free of his restraints on May 12, stabbed a prison bus driver, and commandeered the bus before taking off through a field, NewsNationNow reported. He had been on the run since.
Lopez had been serving a life sentence for a 2005 murder when he escaped. He was being transported from a prison in Gatesville to one in Huntsville when he got out of his restraints near Centerville in Leon County, a rural area between Dallas and Houston, KTVT reported.
A manhunt ensued, but police never spotted Lopez. On Thursday, relatives of the murdered family contacted police saying they hadn’t heard from an elderly relative. Police went to Houston family’s weekend cabin in Leon County and found the five bodies.
Police said they had searched the area, including the cabin, and believe Lopez was hiding in the woods until the family, who has not been identified, arrived Thursday, three weeks after his escape.
But Lopez had stolen the family’s truck — and weapons — and investigators put out a description of it.
“Law enforcement in Atascosa County located the stolen vehicle, disabled it with spike strips, and gunfire ensued,” Jason Clark, spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, said in a statement.
Lopez was killed, he said, and no officers were injured. He had traveled about 250 miles to Jourdanton, 30 miles south of San Antonio, since killing the Houston family.
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[Featured image: Gonzalo Lopez/Texas Department of Criminal Justice]