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A Texas inmate was killed by police in a shooting Thursday night. Tragically, the police may have caught up with him too late. The man is suspected of killing a family of five in a gruesome home murder just hours earlier.
We have reported the case of Gonzalo Lopeza 46 year old person last month escaped from custody after overpowering the warden on a transport bus in rural east Texas. Lopez, who authorities believe has ties to the Mexican Mafia, was sentenced to life in prison for one count of murder and another count of attempted murder. He and other inmates were being driven to medical appointments when he broke free of his restraints, overpowered a prison bus driver and fled near Centreville on May 12.
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In the weeks since, the authorities with Texas Department of Criminal Justice searched frantically but so far have not been able to locate him. Lopez was added to Texas’ 10 Most Wanted Fugitives List and a $50,000 reward was issued for information leading to his arrest. Jason ClarkTDCJ’s chief of staff confirmed in a press conference that law enforcement would “not rest” until he was re-arrested.
The situation turned acrimonious Thursday night – and sadly, innocent lives were lost as a result.
It all started around 6 p.m. local time at a residence in Leon County, Texas – not far from where Lopez first escaped. Authorities were called in for a welfare check at a home there after a family member had not heard from an elderly relative since early that morning. Upon arriving at the home that investigators believe was a weekend home for a family from Houston, police discovered an adult and four children brutally murdered.
The identities of the victims have not been released to the public, but according to a statement from the Tomball School District, the adult in question is the grandfather of the children. They told the parents in a letter on Friday:
“The lives of four Tomball ISD students and their grandfathers were taken from us Thursday by a Texas fugitive who escaped near Centreville. Losing a student to any reason is heartbreaking, but to lose four students in such a tragic way, we send our prayers to the families and friends of these students. birth and this dear grandfather”.
Immediately, police suspected Lopez could be involved in the shocking deaths. Authorities determined the attacker may have stolen clothes, a gun, and a white 1999 car Chevrolet Silverado from the place of residence, as well as ABC News. Leon County Sheriff placed a warning on the vehicle, hoping that deputies in the area would find Lopez driving it.
Hours later, deputies in Atascosa County south of San Antonio — about 300 kilometers southwest of Leon County — caught Lopez driving a stolen truck in Jourdanton. Every ABC News, the police spread out spikes to flatten the truck’s tires. When Silverado was disabled, Lopez allegedly “pointed the rifle out the window and fired multiple times at the deputies.” The police returned fire, attacked and killed the man.
Upon investigating his body, police discovered Lopez was armed with an AR-15 and a pistol. During a Thursday night news conference about the incident, the Atascosa County Sheriff David Soward stated below):
“We received information from the United States Police Department that he may be in the San Antonio area. So then we raised our guard and sure enough, we spotted him. This dangerous individual was out on the street and no officers were injured.”
Here is more about the tragic situation, from ABC 13 Houston (below):
Fortunately, the authorities eventually found the escaped prisoner, but it is so sad that those innocent people lost their lives under these terrible circumstances.
[Image via ABC 13 Houston/YouTube/Texas Department of Criminal Justice]
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