A Texas inmate who escaped custody three weeks ago is suspected of slaughtering a 66-year-old man and four of his grandsons hours before cops shot the fugitive dead on Thursday.
Gonzalo Lopez, 46, died in a shootout with cops on Thursday in Jourdantown, Texas outside of San Antonio while he was driving a pickup owned by the granddad.
Grandfather Mark Collins and his grandchildren were found dead in a cabin in rural Centerville, 100 miles outside of Houston and more than 200 miles from where Lopez met his end, reports said.
The other victims were three brothers – Waylon Collins, 18, Carson Collins, 16 and Hudson Collins, 11 –and their cousin, Bryson Collins, 11, KHOU-11 reported. The family members had arrived early Thursday at the cabin, which was used on weekends for hunting and other outdoor activities, reports said.
“We are devastated by the loss of our dear family members at the family ranch in Centerville, Texas,” the family said in a statement, according to KHOU. “These precious people who loved and were loved by so many, will never be forgotten.”
Waylon Collins had just graduated high school in Tomball, which is in the suburbs outside Houston. He was also an athlete and umpire for the Tomball Little League, according to statements.
The Tomball Independent School District had earlier released a statement announcing the deaths of the grandchildren.
“The loss of a student, for any reason, is heartbreaking, but to lose four in such a tragic way is excruciating, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of these beloved students and grandfather,” the statement said.
Lopez, who was serving two life sentences for murder, escaped from a prison bus on May 12 after he somehow undid his bonds, got out of a metal cage and stabbed the driver with an unknown object in the hand. Lopez got off the bus for a moment then hopped back on and drove it a short distance before corrections officers fired shots and disabled the bus, reports said.
A cellphone video after his escape appeared to show him in a wooded area evading cops – and he wasn’t found until Thursday, when cops stopped his truck as he was headed south toward the US border with Mexico, officials said. Lopez had a pistol and AR-15 style rifle when he was killed, authorities said
With Post wires