Gonzalo Lopez: New photos show tattoos as search enters week three for inmate who stole and crashed jail bus near Centerville

CENTERVILLE, Texas (KTRK) — The Texas Department of Justice released new photos as the search continues for a prison inmate who escaped nearly three weeks ago in an area halfway between Houston and Dallas.

Gonzalo Lopez, 46, escaped from a prison bus near Centerville on May 12. He has not been seen since then.

In 1996, Lopez was convicted of two counts of aggravated assault and received two eight-year sentences. In 2006, he was convicted of capital murder and aggravated kidnapping in Hidalgo County and was sentenced to life in prison, according to TDCJ.

In addition, he received a second life sentence after being convicted of attempted capital murder in Webb County in 2007.

Officials say Lopez is linked to the Mexican mafia and has ties to the Rio Grande Valley and San Antonio.

A $50,000 reward is being offered for information leading to his arrest: the Texas Department of Public Safety is offering $35,000, US Marshals is offering $10,000 and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice is offering $5,000.

The new photos show tattoos on Lopez’s chest, back and arms.

The word “Gonzo” is tattooed on his abdomen, while “Mexican” is written on his back, officials said.

Officials say Lopez was being transported from the Hughes unit in Gatesville to the Estelle unit in Huntsville for a doctor’s appointment when he escaped.

RELATED: New photos released as search continues for escaped Texas inmate who stole prison bus and crashed

The TDCJ said that because of his criminal record and restrictive residential status, Lopez was transported in a separate, confined area of ​​the bus designed for high-risk passengers.

During transport, Lopez reportedly broke free of his restraints, cut through the expanded metal, and crawled out of the bottom of the cage.

Then the police officers said he attacked the bus driver.

The officer reportedly stopped the bus and got into an altercation with Lopez. Finally the two got off the bus.

Officials said a second officer exited the back door of the bus and attempted to approach Lopez.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Authorities are searching for an escaped occupant who stole and crashed a bus near Centerville

However, Lopez reportedly got back on the bus and drove off.

The two officers fired shots at the occupant, eventually incapacitating the bus when a bullet struck a rear tire.

The bus then traveled a short distance and left the roadway before Lopez exited and ran off of Highway 7 in Leon County and into the woods, officials said.

Leon County is approximately 116 miles north of Houston.

Lopez is 6ft tall, 185lbs and heavily tattooed and was last seen wearing white.

Anyone with information on their location should call TDCJ OIG Crime Stoppers at 1-800-832-8477 or 936-437-5171. Officials believe Lopez is armed and extremely dangerous. Don’t try to arrest this fugitive.

SEE ALSO: Authorities Offer $50,000 Reward for Escaped Occupant Who Stolen and Crashed Bus Near Centerville

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https://abc13.com/new-tattoo-photos-gonzalo-lopez-escaped-inmate-three-week-search/11908896/ Gonzalo Lopez: New photos show tattoos as search enters week three for inmate who stole and crashed jail bus near Centerville

Dais Johnston

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