Yesterday (May 12), authorities in Texas asked residents in Centerville living west of Interstate 45 to shelter in place as they search for an inmate convicted of murder who is now on the run.
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, a call was received yesterday around 1:20 p.m. saying that a prison bus had crashed at Interstate 45 and FM 39.
While traveling to a maximum-security prison in Gatesville, Texas, Gonzalo Lopez, 46, allegedly freed himself from his restraints and stabbed a corrections officer who was driving the bus in the hand with a makeshift weapon.
Texas Department of Criminal Justice officials say that a struggle ensued between the officer and the inmate as Lopez tried to grab the officer’s service revolver. During the commotion, the bus crashed as the officer fired his weapon repeatedly at Lopez. The inmate used this time to flee from the bus and it is unclear if any shots hit him.
“Due to the ongoing situation west of I-45 and Hwy 7 shut down for the next 12-24 hours, Centerville ISD will NOT have classes Friday, May 13th,” the district’s official Facebook page said. “Everyone please stay safe and follow the directions of our Law Enforcement,” the post continued.
Authorities say that Lopez was previously serving a life sentence for a 2006 capital murder conviction in Hildago County. The inmate also has an attempted murder charge in Webb County.
Court records stated that Lopez confessed to the kidnapping and killing of Lupe Ramirez of Weslaco, Texas in 2005. At the time, he was working for “La Mana drug cartel from Tamaulipas, Mexico.”
Lopez was headed to a medical visit in Huntsville when the escape happened.
Police described the fugitive as extremely dangerous and asked that anyone with knowledge of his whereabouts call 911 immediately.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is searching for an escaped inmate in Leon County. 46 year old Gonzalo Lopez assaulted a correctional officer on a transport bus & then fled from the vehicle. pic.twitter.com/FTa2Dl8fQv
— TDCJ (@TDCJ) May 12, 2022
SCHOOL CANCELLED: Centerville ISD has canceled classes on Friday as a precaution as the search continues for an escaped inmate nearby. https://t.co/km44YHtPdP
— KWTX News 10 (@kwtx) May 13, 2022