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Gonzalo Lopez: Texas school is closing because local residents fear a refugee may be in town


<p>Texas prison escape</p>
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A convicted murderer escaped from police custody in Leon County, Texas, and is on the run after allegedly stabbing a security guard while he was being taken for a medical exam.

A school in nearby Centerville was closed for a day on Friday over fears the fugitive might try to hide in town. Residents were asked to lock their doors and vehicles.

Gonzalo Lopez, 46, escaped on foot and is currently at large.

The escape occurred as a bus was carrying him and other passengers on Highway 7 near Centerville. Lopez manages to untie his restraints and then attacks the bus driver, identified by police as Correctional Officer Randy Smith.

A Texas Department of Justice spokesman said a fight broke out on the bus, during which Lopez reportedly tried to grab the guard’s firearm. Lopez reportedly hit the driver in the hand with a makeshift blade before the bus crashed and he escaped.

Police are now searching for the escaped occupant and have asked the public to stay away from him and to call 911 if they spot the man.

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Welcome to the live blog

Welcome to that of the independent Live blog after convicted murderer Gonzalo Lopez escaped from prison.

Lopez reportedly stabbed a prison guard with a makeshift blade as he was being taken onto a prison bus. The bus fell and he fled on foot. He’s still at large.

stay with The Independent updated on the Lopez manhunt all day.

Graig GraziosiMay 13, 2022 4:04 p.m

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Lopez was serving a life sentence at the time of his escape

Gonzalo Lopez, the convicted murderer who escaped prison Friday, was serving a life sentence for killing a man in Hidalgo County and for the attempted murder of another man in Webb County.

In 2015, Lopez worked for the La Mana drug cartel, based in Tamaulipas, Mexico. During that time, he killed Lupe Ramirez for a $40,000 drug debt.

As is common with many Mexican drug cartels, the execution was brutal, with Lopez reportedly tying up the man and throwing him into a shallow grave before murdering him with a pickaxe.

Graig GraziosiMay 13, 2022 4:07 p.m

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How did Lopez escape?

Gonzalo Lopez, a convicted murderer in Texas, managed to escape from prison, but not without violence and a bus accident.

The inmate is now on the run, leading to a multi-agency manhunt across Texas and beyond.

To learn more about Lopez’s escape, read Rachel Sharp’s story below:

Graig GraziosiMay 13, 2022 4:19 p.m

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The jailer shot Lopez as he ran off the jail bus

Jimmy Brinegar, the second correctional officer on the prison bus with Gonzalo Lopez, shot the inmate several times while trying to escape.

Lopez, a convicted murderer, untied himself and stabbed the bus driver with a knife. The bus crashed and Lopez fled, prompting Mr. Brinegar to shoot him.

It is unclear if Mr Brinegar hit Lopez.

Graig GraziosiMay 13, 2022 4:50 p.m

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Schools were closed because of fear of flight

Schools in Centerville were closed Friday as a precautionary measure following the escape of convicted killer Gonzalo Lopez.

After Lopez escaped Thursday, classes were canceled and students were sent home. Schools remained closed on Friday and residents were asked to lock their doors and their vehicles.

Local residents who may see Lopez are being warned by police not to approach him and to call 911 and report his whereabouts

Graig GraziosiMay 13, 2022 5:21 p.m

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15 other inmates were on the prison bus when it crashed

Gonzalo Lopez, a convicted murderer, took control of a prison bus and crashed it before fleeing into a field.

After untying himself, he stabbed the bus driver in the hand and tried to grab his pistol before crashing the bus.

While the two guards fought Lopez on the bus, 15 other passengers were trapped in the vehicle.

None of the occupants were injured during the fight or during the crash. There is no indication that any of the other occupants attempted to escape from their seats during the incident.

Graig GraziosiMay 13, 2022 6:30 p.m

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The Texas Department of Justice is offering a $15,000 reward for information leading to the capture of Gonzalo Lopez

The Texas Department of Justice announced it would pay a $15,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of escaped inmate Gonazlo Lopez.

Lopez, a convicted murderer, escaped from a prison transport bus after stabbing the driver and driving the vehicle into a ditch.

Multiple law enforcement agencies are searching a 10 square mile area around the spot where Lopez escaped from the bus.

Graig GraziosiMay 13, 2022 7:20 p.m

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Dogs, helicopters called to help search for fugitives

Texas law enforcement officials authorized police use of sniffer dogs and helicopters in the search for Gonzalo Lopez, a convicted murderer who managed to escape from a prison bus Thursday.

Multiple agencies are searching a 10-square-mile area in Texas near where Lopez fled the transport bus.

Residents of nearby Centerville fear he will attempt to hide in town and have been advised to lock their doors and vehicles.

Graig GraziosiMay 13, 2022 8:30 p.m

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Police stop drivers at checkpoints in Texas while searching for Gonzalo Lopez

Police have set up roadblocks in the 10 square mile search area in an attempt to locate Gonzalo Lopez.

Reporters at the scene have seen police questioning drivers as they search for Lopez, who escaped from a prison transport bus after stabbing the driver and toppling the bus into a ditch.

Lopez was convicted of murder after he used a pickaxe to kill a man who owed Mexican drug cartels $40,000.

Graig GraziosiMay 13, 2022 8:44 p.m

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Visit to some Texas jails canceled after inmate escapes

After Gonzalo Lopez escaped from a prison bus, the Texas Department of Justice announced that visits to some prison facilities would be canceled until further notice.

People hoping to visit someone in one of the restricted locations are advised to contact the site first before traveling to visit.

Graig GraziosiMay 13, 2022 8:45 p.m

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/crime/gonzalo-lopez-texas-inmate-escape-b2078700.html Gonzalo Lopez: Texas school is closing because local residents fear a refugee may be in town

Bobby Allyn

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