Manhunt continues in Texas for escaped assassin who obtained out of restraints on jail bus and allegedly attacked driver

2022-05-14 03:00:06

Gonzalo Lopez, 46, was serving a life sentence for capital homicide and tried capital homicide, the Texas Division of Prison Justice stated.

The escape occurred Thursday afternoon on Freeway 7 close to Centerville, which is about 120 miles north of Houston, division officers stated.

TDCJ spokesperson Robert Hurst informed reporters Friday that Lopez may be very harmful and residents ought to keep indoors.

“He is obtained a life sentence for a capital homicide, the place he killed a person with a pickaxe and he is additionally gotten an tried capital homicide conviction for taking pictures a gun at a police officer,” Hurst stated.

Hurst informed residents to not have interaction Lopez, who was carrying a white shirt and white pants when he escaped, and to name 911 if he’s noticed. There’s a $15,000 reward for data resulting in his seize.

The FBI and US Marshals are concerned within the search, which incorporates virtually 300 native, state and federal regulation enforcement personnel.

Inmate obtained beneath door inside bus

Because the transport bus was headed from Gatesville to Huntsville to take inmates to medical appointments, Lopez was capable of get out of his restraints and attain the driving force, Officer Randy Smith, stated Hurst.

“They obtained right into a bodily altercation whereas Officer Smith was driving the bus. He stabbed Officer Smith within the left hand with some type of object,” Hurst stated Thursday throughout a media briefing carried by CNN affiliate KBTX. “Officer Smith struggled with him making an attempt to maintain him from getting his service revolver — his weapon.”

Hurst stated that Smith prevented the inmate from taking his weapon and the bus got here to a cease.

“The inmate bailed out of the bus, the opposite inmates have been nonetheless of their seats — nonetheless of their restraints,” he stated.

The opposite officer on the bus, Jimmy Brinegar, fired on the fleeing inmate together with his service weapon in addition to a shotgun, in line with Hurst. “We have no idea if the inmate was hit by any of those photographs. Final we noticed him he was fleeing throughout the cow pasture west of Centerville.”

The officers and the remaining inmates had been evaluated and none had suffered any life-threatening accidents he stated.

Hurst stated Friday investigators are nonetheless making an attempt to determine how Lopez obtained out of his restraints and into the compartment up entrance. There’s a secured door with steel mesh round it, Hurst stated.

“In some way, we do not know but how that occurred. He obtained up beneath. He used some kind of a tool to chop out the underside of that door. He obtained down beneath the door, he crawled beneath the door … and when he obtained by that opening that he minimize open, that is when he began combating the officer,” Hurst stated.

When requested whether or not Lopez had assist, Hurst stated the investigation had not answered that but.

Colleges closed

The Centerville faculty district went into “a precautionary lockdown” after the escape.

Elementary college students have been quickly held of their faculty fitness center and highschool college students of their library earlier than being allowed to go residence, in line with statements posted on Fb.

Each faculties have been closed Friday, the college district stated.

CNN’s Michelle Watson, Andy Rose and Susannah Cullinane contributed to this report.

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