Convicted Murderer Serving Life In Prison Stabs Driver And Escapes Custody
By Bill Galluccio
May 13, 2022
A convicted killer managed to escape custody while being transported to a medical appointment in Hidalgo County, Texas. Gonzalo Lopez, 46, was serving a life sentence for capital murder for kidnapping and killing a man with a pick-ax 17 years ago.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice said that Lopez was able to free himself from his restraints and "overpower the driver." Lopez stabbed the bus driver in the hand during a struggle and forced the bus off the road.
He then jumped out of the bus and fled as another officer gave chase and fired several shotgun rounds toward Lopez.
There were 15 other inmates on the bus at the time. They all remained on the bus and in their restraints during the incident.
The bus driver was treated for a non-life-threatening injury.
Authorities are trying to determine how he managed to free himself from his shackles and make his way to the driver's compartment.
A multiagency manhunt has been launched for Lopez, who is considered to be extremely dangerous.
Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman Robert Hurst said there is a $15,000 reward for information that leads to Lopez's capture. He asked anybody who sees Lopez to call 911 and cautioned them not to confront him.
"We do not know if he has obtained any kind of a weapon," Hurst said. "Last we saw him, he did not appear to have a weapon in his possession, but who knows what he might've been able to get."