Wednesday, 6 July, 2022
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Fugitive shot dead after allegedly killing Texas family: sheriff

Texas law enforcement officers have shot dead a convicted murderer who escaped prison and was suspected of killing a family close to his last known location, authorities said Thursday.

The bodies of five people -- one adult and four children -- were found in a house near the town of Centerville, Leon County on Thursday, the local sheriff's office said.

Gonzalo Lopez was shot in the city of Jourdanton after gunfire ensued when law enforcement officers located the family's stolen vehicle and disabled it with spike strips, Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) spokesman Jason Clark said in a statement.

Police had been searching the east Texas area for Lopez since he escaped on May 12 while being transported to another prison by bus.

Clark said 46-year-old Lopez, who was serving a life sentence for capital murder, escaped his restraints and sawed through the metal cage in which he was being held on the bus before assaulting the driver and fleeing.

Police were called Thursday by a relative of the deceased family who was worried after not hearing from them, Clark told a press conference before Lopez was shot.

"Lopez is obviously a killer, he has a disregard for human life," Clark said.

He said the family lived in the Houston area, and that the residence was a weekend home.