Escaped Texas Killer Dies in Shootout With Police, Officials Said
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A convicted murderer on running since escaping from an escape bus from prison last month was shot to death by law enforcement officials in Texas after he was found dead by law enforcement officers. He killed 5 members from the same household including four children. He also burgled an unoccupied truck from their cabin on a weekend in the countryside authorities said.
Gonzalo Lopez 46, was killed in a shootout between police late on Thursday night in Jourdanton approximately 35 miles (55 kilometers) south of San Antonio, after driving the vehicle greater than 200 miles (322 kilometers) from the cabin, according to Jason Clark, spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. He was in hiding since he stabbed an officer on a prison bus in the 12th of May.
At the time Lopez was killed the gunman was carrying an AR-15 firearm and a rifle that investigators believe could have been stolen from the house, Clark said.
The authorities within Atascosa County — about 220 miles (354 kilometers) southwest of the cabin saw the stolen vehicle late Thursday night, and then was able to follow it but left in the back to not be able to alert him to their presence, according to the Sheriff David Soward. Police with Jourdanton police utilized spike strips to level the tires of the vehicle. However, Lopez was able to drive on and shoot his gun out of the window, firing several shots at policemen before he struck two telephone poles as well as the fencing, Soward said.
“He left his vehicle. He fired more rounds. At the very least, four officers returned with fire on the suspect,” which killed him, Soward said.
The hunt for Lopez who was able to escape after being taken from the cage inside a prisoner’s bus, increased on Thursday after someone reached out to police concerned that they’d not heard from a relative of theirs.
This led police to a cabin in the countryside near Centerville located in Leon County, in the same location in which Lopez had escaped from the bus. Names of five victims who were found dead in the cabin have not been immediately released by the authorities.
The Tomball school district located in suburb Houston confirmed on Friday that four children were pupils in its district , and that the adult who was their grandfather.
“There is no word to describe it. Through this difficult time it is clear that the Tomball community continues to unite following the devastating loss of 4 students.” Superintendent of schools Martha Salazar-Zamora.
The victims were believed to have arrived on Thursday morning at the cabin that was their property, Clark said. The five suspects are suspected to be killed in the afternoon but had no connection to Lopez Clark stated. Authorities don’t know for sure whether Lopez was in the cabin, and if they were snatched by him when they arrived, Clark said.
“We are very saddened that the murders happened, but I will tell you that we are breathing a sigh of relief that Lopez will not be able to hurt anybody else,” Clark said.
Lopez was the subject of a thorough investigation since his disappearance. He was transported from the prison at Gatesville to a prison located in Huntsville to see a doctor as according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice has stated. He was able to escape in Leon County, a rural area that is located between Dallas and Houston and is located about 100 miles (160 kilometers) east of Gatesville.
The police department claims that Lopez was able to get free of his leg and hand restraints. He cut through the expanding metal of the cage and crawled up from the bottom. The driver then attacked Lopez who stopped the bus , and was involved in a fight with Lopez The two ended up getting off the bus.
An additional officer was stationed located at near the back left and then approached Lopez who returned to the bus and immediately began driving, the department stated.
The officers shot at Lopez and dismantled the bus with a shot to the rear tire, according to the department. The bus was then driven a short distance before departing the roadway which is when Lopez left and ran in the woods. At one point, Lopez stabbed the driver but the wounds were not life-threatening, according the department.
Clark stated that “a serious incident review” regarding the incident will be carried out.
“It’s incumbent upon us to go backwards to figure out how did he escape, how did he beat our security protocols in order to leave that transport vehicle,” Clark stated.
Lopez is serving a life sentence in prison for a conviction in 2006 of killing a man on the border between Mexico and Texas.
The version that was published has been revised to clarify that Jourdanton is located to the southwest from Centerville, Texas.