A statewide manhunt for convicted killer Gonzalo Lopez ended Thursday night with Lopez being shot and killed by law enforcement in Jourdanton, Texas, just south of San Antonio.
Lopez is also the prime suspect in the murder of five family members from the Houston area – an elderly person and four minors – in the hours prior to his death. Their bodies were discovered in a home in Leon County, according to the Leon County Sheriff’s Office. He was driving the family’s stolen vehicle when he was located by Atascosa County law enforcement.
“Law enforcement in Atascosa County located the stolen vehicle, disabled it with spike strips, and gunfire ensued. At approximately 22:30, the TDCJ received information that Lopez had been shot by law enforcement in Jourdanton, Texas, South of San Antonio. Lopez has been confirmed deceased, and no law enforcement officers were reported to be harmed during the exchange,” according to a statement from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
Lopez, who was serving two life sentenced for convictions of capital murder, attempted capital murder and aggravated kidnapping, became the subject of a statewide manhunt after he escaped a prison transport bus near Centerville, Texas, on May 12, 2022.
His escape, which also involved the brutal assault of a correctional officer and Lopez attempting to drive the transport bus before it was disabled by correctional officers shooting the rear tires, prompted one of the largest manhunts by Texas law enforcement personnel and his being named to the Texas Department of Public Safety’s 10 Most Wanted Fugitive List.
Lopez, 46, hailed from the Rio Grande Valley and was known for his affiliation with the Mexican Mafia, authorities say.
He was previously convicted of two counts of Aggravated Assault in 1996 and served an eight-year sentence for those crimes. In 2006, he was convicted of capital murder and aggravated kidnapping in Hidalgo County, and was given a life sentence. He received a second life sentence in 2007 for an attempted capital murder conviction in Webb County.
Information about his recent victims has not been made public at this time by state law enforcement agencies.