Officers named Gonzalo Artemio Lopez as the suspect in the killing of the family of four children and an adult near Jourdanton, southern Texas, according to The New York Times.
Texas officials said in a statement that they caught Lopez driving a stolen vehicle, which they stopped with spike strips.
A shootout ensued, the officials said, in which Lopez was killed and no officers were harmed.
According to NewsNation reporter Brian Entin, Lopez had an AR-15 rifle and a handgun, which officers believe he took from the home of the slain family. The victims have not been named.
—Brian Entin (@BrianEntin) June 3, 2022
Lopez was supposed to be in Texas prison serving a life sentence for murder, as well as a string of other offenses. He escaped custody while being taken to a medical appointment by prison bus.
Authorities said, per the Associated Press, that Lopez escaped hand and leg restraints and briefly hijacked the bus.
He fought with correctional officers, stabbed the bus driver, and managed to escaped into a wooded area, authorities said.
Officials named Lopez as one of their most wanted fugitives after he escaped, and offered a $50,000 reward for information that helped recapture him.
Despite what Texas officials described as one of the largest manhunts in state history, law enforcement was not able to locate Lopez until after the killings.
Police said they were called after relatives of the killed family — who were visiting from Houston — were unable to contact them.
While investigating leads inside the search perimeter, law enforcement agencies received a call from an individual who became concerned after not hearing from an elderly relative. Law enforcement officers responded to the residence & discovered the bodies of 2 adults & 3 children pic.twitter.com/fv8omiorZ4— TDCJ (@TDCJ) June 3, 2022
Officials initially said the victims they found were two adults and three children, but later corrected that description to an adult and four children.
Per The New York Times, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said it had launched a review of how Lopez was able to escape and spend so long on the run, and would make changes to stop it happening again.
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