A convicted murderer who escaped from a Texas prison transport bus last month was shot dead by cops on Thursday night after he allegedly murdered five family members inside their home, authorities said.
Gonzalo Lopez, 46, who had been on the run since May 12, was killed in a shootout in a residential neighborhood in Jourdanton, Texas, at about 10:30 p.m., the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said.
Shortly before Lopez’s death, he had been named the prime suspect in the slaying of two adults and three children in Centerville, about 250 miles away from the scene of his fatal shootout, authorities said.
Lopez was ultimately spotted by law enforcement driving a white Chevrolet Silverado that he stole from the murder scene.
Police gave chase and Lopez crashed into a tree after running over spike strips.
He then exited the vehicle and began shooting at officers, who returned fire, striking and killing him, according to Jason Clark, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
No law enforcement officers were injured in the gunfight.
Gonzalo Lopez was last seen in the area where the murders occurred before he was killed in the shootout with cops.TDCJ/Twitter
Lopez had evaded capture since he managed to slip out of his restraints on the inmate-filled bus and stab the driver before running off into the woods in Leon County — a rural area between Dallas and Houston that has a population of just 16,000 people
The inmate, who was serving a life sentence for a 2006 murder, was being transported to Texas’ prison headquarters in Huntsville — about 50 miles north of Leon County — for a medical appointment when he made his escape, officials said.
Gonzalo Lopez, a fugitive who evaded capture after escaping off an inmate bus, allegedly killed five family members.TDCJ/Twitter
Gonzalo Lopez, 46, is believed to be driving a white Chevrolet Silverado that he took from the family’s home.TDCJ/Twitter
Clark, at a Thursday night press conference, said Lopez was armed with a rifle and handgun, which were believed to have been stolen from home of the murder victims.
The identities of the victims were not revealed on Thursday night. They were from Houston, but spent their weekends at the Centerville home, reports said.
Investigators were tipped off the quintuple murder by somebody who grew concerned when they had not heard from an elderly relative, officials said.