‘Stay in your properties’: $15K reward for ‘very harmful’ escaped killer still on the loose in East Texas

Over 300 legislation enforcement officers are looking out for Gonzalo Lopez, 46, who overpowered a jail bus driver and stabbed him twice earlier than operating off.

CENTERVILLE, Texas — Nerves are on edge in the Centerville space the place a Texas jail inmate is still on the loose. Gonzalo Lopez, 46, stabbed a guard, took control of a prison bus and crashed it earlier than escaping in Leon County on Thursday.

A jail spokesman described Lopez, 46, as a harmful prison with a violent past. He was sentenced to life for capital murder after he killed a person with a decide ax in 2005. He was additionally convicted of tried capital homicide for attempting to kill a police officer.

“He’s somebody that is very dangerous,” TDCJ spokesman Robert Hurst mentioned. 

RELATED: A take a look at Texas escaped convict’s violent historical past

Lopez was on board the bus together with 15 different inmates headed for Huntsville for medical appointments when he slipped out of his shackles and stabbed the driver in the hand and chest, authorities mentioned.

The driver, Officer Randy Smith, managed to drag the bus over and he and Lopez struggled exterior the car. The inmate tried to seize a gun from the driver’s holster, however he failed.

Officer Jimmie Brinegar, who was initially in the again of the bus armed with a shotgun, jumped out and shot out the again tires of the bus. Hurst mentioned Lopez then acquired again in the bus, drove it a couple of mile, however lost management and crashed it due to the flattened tires.

Smith and Brinegar fired pictures at him as he ran throughout a pasture, however they do not know if he was hit.

“We want to get this guy before he does something to someone else,” Hurst mentioned.

Hurst mentioned they’re still investigating how Lopez acquired out of his restraints, and the way he managed to open the secured door inside the bus to get to the bus driver. 

WATCH: TDCJ update on escaped inmate

“He used some type of device, we don’t know what, some type of device to cut out the bottom of the door,” Hurst mentioned.

He mentioned the different inmates weren’t in a position to get out of their restraints they usually stayed on the bus.

“The officer that fired the shots with his shotgun into the rear wheels of the bus, that was smart thinking,” Hurst mentioned. “Had he had not done that, there’s no telling where we might have this bus right now with 15 or 16 inmates on it.”

He mentioned Officer Smith is recovering from “non-life-threatening” accidents. Officer Brinegar wasn’t harm. 

“These two officers acted very heroically for what they dealt with and how they dealt with it,” Hurst mentioned. 

Residents in the space are being suggested to remain in their properties, if potential, till Lopez is captured. Nearby school districts also canceled classes for the day.

Anyone who sees Lopez ought to name 9-1-1 instantly.

Centerville is about midway between Houston and Dallas.

RELATED: Escaped inmate stays at giant, Highway 7 shut down, Centerville ISD cancels courses for Friday

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