A man who authorities said escaped law enforcement custody May 12 by stabbing a prison bus driver after getting out of his shackles is now suspected of murdering five people, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice announced. The suspect was fatally shot by police Thursday night.
TDCJ said law enforcement received a call from a person who became concerned after not hearing from an elderly relative in Leon County — about 145 miles south of Fort Worth — and when officers responded they found the bodies of one adult and four children.
Gonzalo Artemio Lopez, 46, “assaulted a correctional officer on a transport bus, and then fled from the vehicle” on May 12 after he crashed the bus, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
TDCJ said Thursday that a white 1999 Chevy Silverado was stolen from the home where the five people were killed and they believed Lopez was driving it.
Later Thursday night, about an hour after the TDCJ’s initial report, law enforcement found the stolen vehicle in Atascosa County.
Responding officers used spike strips to stop the vehicle and said that “gunfire ensued,” between them and Lopez.
The 46-year-old was shot by police in Jourdanton, Texas, near San Antonio, and was later pronounced dead. No officers were injured in the gunfire.
Nearly a month ago, authorities said Lopez managed to get out of his shackles on the way from Gatesville to Huntsville and stabbed the bus driver’s hand before taking control of the bus and crashing it.
Lopez was serving a life sentence for capital murder after he was convicted of killing a man with a pickax in Hidalgo County in the Rio Grande Valley.