Escaped Murderer Kills Family of 5 at Their Vacation Home

Gonzalo Lopez was later shot dead by police
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 3, 2022 12:16 AM CDT
Escaped Murderer Kills Family of 5 at Their Vacation Home
This undated photo provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows Gonzalo Lopez.   (Texas Department of Criminal Justice via AP)

A convicted murderer on the run since escaping a prison bus after stabbing its driver on May 12 was shot dead late Thursday after he killed a family of five and stole their truck from a rural weekend cabin, a Texas prison system spokesman said. Gonzalo Lopez, 46, was "killed by law enforcement in Atascosa County. He shot at officers who returned fire killing him," Jason Clark, spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, said in an email to the Associated Press. The killing site is about 220 miles southeast of Centerville, Texas, about 110 miles north of Houston, near where Clark earlier said Lopez had killed a Houston family of five at their weekend cabin and stole their pickup truck. Lopez was thought to be hiding in the vicinity of the cabin when officers received a call from someone concerned after not hearing from an elderly relative, Clark said.

Officers went to the family's weekend cabin along Texas Route 7 west of Centerville about 6pm Thursday and found the bodies of one adult and four minors, three of them children. Identities were not released. Lopez was believed to have driven off in their white pickup truck, Clark said. "Law enforcement in Atascosa County located the stolen vehicle, disabled it with spike strips, and gunfire ensued," Clark says, per KSAT. Lopez was a former member of the Mexican Mafia prison gang and had ties to South Texas, which is where he met his end. The family, which was from the Houston area, was thought to have arrived Thursday morning at the cabin, which they owned, Clark said. The five are believed to have been killed Thursday afternoon and had no link to Lopez, he said.

Lopez, 46, had been the subject of an intensive search since his escape from the prison bus. He was being transported in a caged area of the bus from a prison in Gatesville, more than 100 miles west of the place where he escaped, to one in Huntsville for a medical appointment when he escaped in Leon County, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice has said. Lopez was serving a life prison sentence for a 2006 conviction of murdering a man along the Texas-Mexico border.

(More Texas stories.)

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