Police shoot dead Texas fugitive after killing family of five

A convicted murderer who has been on the run since escaping a prison bus after stabbing his driver last month was shot dead by police late today after killing a family of five and stealing their truck from a rural weekend cottage , said a spokesman for the Texas prison system.

Gonzalo Lopez, 46, was killed around 10:30 p.m. today in Jourdanton, Texas, about 55 kilometers south of San Antonio, said Jason Clark, spokesman for the Texas Department of Justice.

“Law enforcement agencies in Atascosa County located the stolen vehicle, disabled it with spiked strips, and gunfire ensued,” Clark said in a statement. No officers were injured, he said.

Lopez was killed about 220 miles (354 kilometers) southeast of Centerville, Texas, where Clark previously said Lopez killed a Houston family of five in their cabin and stole their pickup truck.

Lopez was believed to be hiding near the cabin when officers received a call from someone affected after they didn’t hear from an elderly relative, Clark said.

Officers went to the family’s cabin along Texas Route 7 west of Centerville around 6 p.m. today and found the bodies of an adult and four minors, three of them children. Identities weren’t released, but her white pickup truck was gone, Clark said. Lopez allegedly drove the truck out of the search area, he said. Lopez was a former member of the Mexican Mafia prison gang and had ties to South Texas, he said.

The family reportedly arrived at the cabin that belonged to them this morning, Clark said. The five are believed to have been killed this afternoon and had no connection to Lopez, he said.

Lopez, 46, has been the subject of an intense search since escaping the prison bus. He was being transported in a caged area of ​​the bus from a Gatesville jail, more than 100 miles (160 kilometers) west of where he escaped, to a doctor’s appointment in Huntsville when he escaped in Leon County, a rural area Area between Dallas and Houston, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said.

Centerville is the county seat of Leon County with a population of approximately 16,000 and is located about 80 kilometers north of the Huntsville State Penitentiary Headquarters.

The department has said Lopez somehow freed himself from his hand and leg cuffs, cut through the cage’s expanded metal and crawled from underneath. He then attacked the driver, who stopped the bus and got into an altercation with Lopez, and they both eventually got off the bus.

A second officer at the end of the bus then got off and approached Lopez, who got back on the bus and headed down the street, the department said.

Officers shot Lopez and disabled the bus by shooting the rear tire, the department said. The bus then traveled a short distance before exiting the lane, where Lopez got off and ran into the woods.

At some point during the escape, Lopez stabbed the driver, whose wounds were not life-threatening, the department said.

Lopez was serving a life sentence after being convicted of the 2006 murder of a man on the Texas-Mexico border.

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