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Texas suspends inmate transports after escapee stabbed bus driver, killed 5

Gonzalo Lopez escaped from a prison bus in May and killed five people before he was killed by police last week.
Within minutes, Lopez made his way back on the bus and started driving away before one of the officers stationed in the back of the bus shot the rear tire, causing the bus to veer off the highway, officials said.
Within minutes, Lopez made his way back on the bus and started driving away before one of the officers stationed in the back of the bus shot the rear tire, causing the bus to veer off the highway, officials said. KPRC

Texas’ prison agency will suspend the transport of inmates after a convicted killer escaped from a prison bus last month and killed five members of a family while on the run.

The escaped inmate, Gonzalo Lopez, 46, was killed Thursday in a shootout with police hours after officials said five people had been found dead.

While he was being moved for a medical appointment, Lopez was able to get free of restraints and cut through a metal barrier to attack a corrections officer driving the bus and escape near Centerville on May 12, officials have said.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice said Monday it was suspending inmate transports as it “conducts a comprehensive review of its transportation procedures.”

The agency said that if there is an emergency medical appointment or something else requiring a transport, there will be extra security.

How the escape happened is under investigation, officials have said. The corrections officer was stabbed in the hand. No other injuries were reported, the other inmates on the bus remained in their restraints, and no one else escaped.

The Criminal Justice Department says that it is conducting a review into the escape and that it will bring in an outside company to conduct an additional review.

Lopez is believed to have entered a home in Leon County, where he got access to guns, and then killed a 66-year-old man, an 18-year-old and three children, the sheriff’s office there has said.

Lopez was spotted later Thursday driving a truck taken from the home. He was then chased, and he ultimately died in a shootout with police in Jourdanton in Atascosa County, officials have said.

Killed at the ranch in Leon County were Mark Collins, 66; Waylon Collins, 18; Carson Collins, 16; Hudson Collins, 11; and Bryson Collins, 11.