Escaped Texas inmate Gonzalo Lopez was killed by authorities after being accused of murdering five people, the Leon County Sheriff’s Office said in a social media post.
There was a manhunt underway for Lopez after the discovery of three adults and two children in a Leon County residence, police said. Law enforcement saw the pickup truck up he was believed to be and spiked his tires and after a short chase, he exited the vehicle with a firearm and engaged officers in a shootout, according to authorities.
Officers fired back and killed Lopez, police added.
He was armed with an AR-15 and a pistol. No officers were injured during the exchange.
Officials in Texas discovered five murdered people, two adults and three children, in a Leon County residence, where Lopez was last seen in May, police said earlier Thursday evening.
An individual was concerned about an elderly relative in the home and contacted authorities, police said. Law enforcement discovered the bodies after responding to the residence.
Jason Clark of The Texas Department of Criminal Justice said that the five individuals, whose primary residence is Houston, were seen this morning. They were found murdered at their weekend home around 6 p.m. Thursday. Lopez is the prime suspect, police said.
Lopez is believed to have broken into the home and committed the murders and a manhunt is underway, according to authorities.
“We will not rest until Gonzalo Lopez is in custody,” Clark said.
A 1999 white Chevrolet Silverado, license plate DPV4520, was missing from the residence, police said. Authorities believed that Lopez was driving the vehicle and possibly armed.
Reward grows to $50,000 for arrest of escaped inmate serving life for murder
Police believe that Lopez may be responsible for “five murders,” the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Southeast Region wrote in a social media post.
The Texas Rangers are assisting the Leon County Sheriff’s Office in the case.
Lopez, 46, an inmate serving a life sentence, was being transported en route from Gatesville to Huntsville for a medical appointment when he escaped in Leon County, Texas on May 12, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said. A $50,000 reward was issued for his capture by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
The Texas Department of Public Safety also added Lopez to the state’s 10 Most Wanted Fugitives List last month.
Marilyn E. Heck contributed to this story.