Convicted Killer Escapes Prison, Kills Family Of Five

A convicted murderer got into a chase and deadly shootout with Texas police Thursday night after authorities say he escaped from a prison bus last month and was named the prime suspect in the slaying of a family of five.

Gonzalo Lopez was serving a life sentence after he was convicted of murder in 2006 for brutally killing a man along the southern border with a pickaxe, according to CBS News. After escaping prison on May 12 near Centerville, Texas, authorities say Lopez killed four minors and one adult at their weekend cabin on Thursday. 

Lopez was on the state’s top 10 most wanted fugitives list, and the search for the murderer ended Thursday night after he reportedly stole a truck from the family he allegedly murdered and got into a shootout with police. “Law enforcement in Atascosa County located the stolen vehicle, disabled it with spike strips, and gunfire ensued,” Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman Jason Clark said in a statement. 

Lopez crashed the stolen vehicle after hitting a spike strip and was killed in the ensuing shootout. No officers were injured in the gunfight.

The family of five Lopez was suspected of murdering were found dead in their rural cabin on Thursday after being seen alive earlier in the day. The identities and ages of the victims were not released, but according to CBS, four of those slain were minors, and three were young children.

“Lopez is obviously a killer,” Clark said. “He has a disregard for human life.”

In May, Lopez escaped from a prison bus in Leon County by somehow cutting out of his restraints and proceeding to stab the bus driver. The driver stopped the bus and got out of the vehicle with Lopez when another officer approached. Lopez then got back into the bus and attempted to drive it away, but the officer shot the tires, according to authorities.

Lopez escaped on foot into nearby woods, but no other prisoners escaped.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), Lopez had tiesto the Mexican Mafia and a long rap sheet of violent behavior. Before his 2006 sentencing for murder, he “was convicted of two counts of aggravated assault and received two eight-year sentences,” ABC 13 wrote

Another Department of Criminal Justice spokesman, Robert Hurst, warned in a press conference just before his death that Lopez was “very dangerous.”

“He’s got a life sentence for a capital murder, where he killed a man with a pickaxe and he’s also gotten an attempted capital murder conviction for shooting a gun at a police officer,” Hurst said.

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