Prison Escapee Who Allegedly Murdered Texas Family Had Help During Getaway, State Senator Says
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The Texas convict killed by authorities in a shootout last week after escaping from a prison bus and allegedly murdering a family of five had help from other prisoners during his escape, according to a Texas state senator.

State Sen. John Whitmire told ABC 25 News Tuesday that the 16 passengers on the bus from which 46-year-old Gonzalo Lopez escaped helped him by “making a disturbance, singing and jumping up and down.”

“The officers were distracted, and the driver was watching the road, while Lopez was releasing his restraints, and then while he was ‘breaking out of the little cage he was in,’” Whitmire said, according to ABC 25. 

Lopez also reportedly told his fellow prisoners “this is your opportunity” after letting them know of his escape plan.

The known killer with ties to the Mexican cartel was serving a life sentence for brutally killing a man along the southern border with a pickaxe, according to CBS News.

Lopez escaped from a prison bus in Leon County on May 12 by cutting out of his restraint and breaking free of his cage with a knife and key he had on him, according to Whitmire. He then proceeded to stab the driver. The driver stopped the bus and got out of the vehicle with Lopez when another officer approached. Lopez then got back into the bus and attempted to drive it away, but the officer shot the tires, according to authorities.

Lopez escaped on foot into nearby woods, but no other prisoners escaped.

After his escape, authorities believe Lopez murdered a man and his four grandsons last Thursday at a rural cabin before stealing their truck and getting into a chase with police.

“Law enforcement in Atascosa County located the stolen vehicle, disabled it with spike strips, and gunfire ensued,” Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman Jason Clark said in a statement.

After hitting the spike strip, Lopez got into a shootout with police and was killed. No officers were injured in the gunfight.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), Lopez had ties to the Mexican Mafia and a long rap sheet of violent behavior.

Before his 2006 sentencing for murder, he “was convicted of two counts of aggravated assault and received two eight-year sentences,” ABC 13 wrote.

Another Department of Criminal Justice spokesman, Robert Hurst, warned in a press conference just before his death that Lopez was “very dangerous.”

“He’s got a life sentence for a capital murder, where he killed a man with a pickaxe and he’s also gotten an attempted capital murder conviction for shooting a gun at a police officer,” Hurst said.

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