A convicted murderer suspected of killing four children and an adult after escaping from custody was killed Thursday in a shootout with police.
Gonzalo Lopez, who was associated with the Mexican mafia, escaped May 12 while being transported by bus near Centerville, Texas, Fox News reported.
Lopez reportedly freed himself, cut through a metal cage, stabbed the corrections officer behind the wheel and then stole the prison bus.
However, guards shot out the tires and the bus crashed. Lopez was then seen running into the woods off Highway 7 in Leon County.
His escape led to a three-week manhunt.
On June 2, an adult and four children were found dead in a home near the spot where Lopez had escaped, ABC News reported.
The house where the family was murdered is believed to have been a weekend home. The victims’ primary residence was in Houston.
Authorities said the family had been seen Thursday morning, but were found murdered around 6 p.m.
Police believe that Lopez broke into the home, murdered the family and may have stolen clothes, firearms and a 1999 white Chevrolet Silverado from the residence.
Lopez was caught after the truck he was driving was disabled with a spike strip in Jourdanton, CNN reported.
He crashed the car and then engaged in a firefight with officers.
“He fired several rounds at officers and was armed with an AR-15 and a pistol,” said Jason Clark, who is with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
No officers were injured.
Lopez had formerly been convicted of capital murder, attempted capital murder and aggravated kidnapping.
He was serving two life sentences when he escaped.
“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,” Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesperson Robert Hurst said, CNN reported.
When he escaped, Lopez was put on the state’s 10 Most Wanted Fugitives List and a $50,000 reward was offered for any information that would help capture him.
“The Marshals Service has elevated Gonzalo Lopez to major case status and is contributing up to $10,000 toward his capture,” U.S. Marshal for the Western District of Texas Susan Pamerleau said in a May 25 statement, Fox News reported. “We sincerely hope this money will serve as an incentive for someone who knows something to do the right thing and contact us. The sooner we get him back into custody, the better.”
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