A convicted murderer who escaped from a Texas prison transport bus last month was killed in a shootout with cops on Thursday night after allegedly killing five family members inside their home, cops and a report said.
Gonzalo Lopez, 46, who had been on the run since May 12, was the prime suspect in the slaying of two adults and three children in Centerville, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
Earlier in the evening, authorities held a press conference identifying Lopez as the murder suspect. Officials said the killer was believed to have been driving a white Chevrolet Silverado that he took from the home where the victims were found.
Around 10:30 p.m., police in Atascosa County identified the stolen vehicle and “disabled it with spike strips,” in Jourdanton — about 40 miles south of San Antonio, The Texas Department of Criminal Justice confirmed.
A gunfight ensued and Lopez was killed. No law enforcement officers were injured, authorities said.
Authorities had earlier warned that Lopez, who was last seen in Leon County north of Houston the area where the murders occurred, may be armed, police said.
It wasn’t immediately clear when authorities discovered the quintuple murder, but they were tipped off by somebody who grew concerned when had not heard from an elderly relative, officials said.
The murdered family was from the Houston. The Centerville home was their weekend residence, KBTX reported.
The identities of the five family members were not revealed on Thursday night.
Lopez has 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 escaped 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.
Authorities have offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to Lopez’s capture.