Gonzalo Lopez, Escaped Texas Killer, Dies in Shootout With Police

One of the dramatic manhunts in Texas historical past ended past due Thursday when a convicted assassin who had escaped from a jail bus ultimate month used to be killed in a shootout with the police, hours after he turned into the high suspect within the killing of 5 folks at a house, the government mentioned.

The convict, Gonzalo Artemio Lopez, have been the high suspect within the murders of 4 minors and one grownup whose our bodies have been found out on Thursday at a house close to the place he had escaped in Would possibly. The government mentioned he had taken a car from the house, a white Chevrolet Silverado, to power out of the world.

Past due on Thursday evening, law enforcement officials in Jourdanton, Texas, noticed Mr. Lopez, 46, riding the lacking car and disabled it by way of placing spike strips at the highway, Jason Clark, the manager of personnel on the Texas Division of Prison Justice, instructed journalists. Jourdanton is south of San Antonio and greater than 200 miles southwest of the world the place Mr. Lopez had escaped.

After a brief chase, Mr. Lopez crashed the car right into a tree and started taking pictures on the officials, who returned hearth and in the long run killed him, Mr. Clark mentioned. Mr. Lopez, who used to be armed with an AR-15 rifle and a pistol, fired a number of rounds on the officials however none of them have been struck, he added.

“I can let you know that we’re respiring a sigh of aid that Lopez won’t be able to harm any individual else,” Mr. Clark mentioned.

When Mr. Lopez escaped from a jail bus on Would possibly 12, he have been serving sentences for crimes that incorporated killing a person with a pickax. After his get away, he crowned the state’s maximum sought after checklist, and by the point he used to be killed, the government have been providing $50,000 in trade for info resulting in his arrest and conviction.

The bus Mr. Lopez escaped from ultimate month have been transporting him and 15 different inmates to a scientific appointment. Because it approached Centerville, a town about midway between Houston and Dallas on Interstate 45, he broke freed from his shackles, attacked the driving force and drove the bus for a mile sooner than shedding keep an eye on and escaping right into a cow pasture.

Loads of brokers from native and nationwide legislation enforcement teams participated in a manhunt the use of horses, police canine and helicopters.

“That is more than likely one of the crucial greatest, if now not the biggest, manhunts in contemporary historical past for an escaped inmate from the Texas Division of Prison Justice,” Robert Hurst, a public knowledge officer for the dept, mentioned days after the get away, including that Mr. Lopez used to be a “very unhealthy particular person.”

The killings of the 5 folks possibly befell on Thursday afternoon and the house used to be inside a fringe the place police officers have been looking for Mr. Lopez since his get away, Mr. Clark instructed journalists at a information convention.

The house used to be a weekend place of dwelling utilized by a circle of relatives from Houston and have been again and again searched for the reason that get away, he mentioned.

Mr. Clark mentioned that the government had proof that Mr. Lopez had damaged into the house and dedicated the murders, however he didn’t supply main points or say how the sufferers have been killed.

Credit score…Texas Division of Prison Justice

Mr. Lopez escaped whilst he used to be being pushed from a jail in Gatesville, Texas, to a scientific appointment within the town of Huntsville, the government mentioned.

After Mr. Lopez broke into the driving force’s compartment, the driving force stopped the bus and Mr. Lopez stabbed him within the left hand and chest, in keeping with the Texas Division of Prison Justice. Any other officer at the bus shot out the 2 again tires. Then Mr. Lopez returned to the bus and controlled to power it for a mile sooner than shedding keep an eye on. When the bus got here to a forestall, Mr. Lopez ran right into a wooded space, the place he disappeared.

Along with his homicide conviction, Mr. Lopez had 8 different convictions since 1994, together with tried capital homicide, kidnapping and 3 separate counts of annoyed attack.

The police suspected all alongside that Mr. Lopez had now not long gone very some distance, partially as a result of that they had no proof to signify in a different way, Mr. Clark mentioned. “It wasn’t till this afternoon that it turned into transparent that he remained on this space,” he mentioned.

He mentioned that the government deliberate to behavior a “critical incident evaluate” to resolve how Mr. Lopez have been ready to overcome the state’s safety protocols.

“We will be able to discover how he did it,” Mr. Clark, “after which make any changes which are essential.”

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