13 May 2022

Manhunt continues for murderer who escaped prison bus after stabbing driver

13 May 2022

The manhunt continues for a murderer who escaped a Texas prison transport bus after stabbing the driver.

Gonzalo Lopez, 46, vanished on Thursday after overpowering the driver, whose injuries are not considered life-threatening, said Jason Clark, chief of staff for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Lopez, who was convicted in 2006 of killing a man along the Texas-Mexico border, escaped in Leon County, a rural area between Dallas and Houston.

Classes in the nearby Centerville Independent School District were cancelled on Friday as a precaution.

Several agencies are involved in the search, including aircraft from the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Leon County Sheriff’s Office said.

There were 16 prisoners on the bus and no one else escaped, Mr Clark said.

Leon County has roughly 16,000 residents and is about 50 miles north of the state’s prison headquarters.

Prison records show Lopez was most recently being held at a facility in Gatesville, more than 100 miles from where authorities are searching.

Other prisoners in Texas have also escaped transport vehicles over the years.

Among the most recent was in 2019, when an MMA fighter suspected of killing two people fled from a van and was missing for nine hours.

Authorities said he was eventually found hiding in a bin.

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