Officials stated Thursday that a convicted killer is on the loose in Leon County, Texas, after assaulting a corrections officer and then fleeing a prison transportation bus.
According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Gonzalo Lopez, 46, was serving a life sentence for capital murder and attempted capital murder.
At around 1:20 pm, the convict escaped on Highway 7 in Centerville.
Lopez was able to break out of his restraints and grab the driver, Officer Randy Smith, while the transport bus was traveling from Gatesville to Huntsville
“They got into a physical altercation while Officer Smith was driving the bus. He stabbed Officer Smith in the left hand with some sort of object,” spokesperson Robert Hurst said. “Officer Smith struggled with him, trying to keep him from getting his service revolver — his weapon.”
According to Hurst, Smith stopped the inmate from taking his weapon, and that’s when the bus came to a stop.
He said, “The inmate bailed out of the bus. The other inmates were still in their seats — still in their restraints.”
The other officer, Jimmy Brinegar, reportedly fired his gun at the runaway inmate.
“We do not know if the inmate was hit by any of these shots. Last we saw him, he was fleeing across the cow pasture west of Centerville.”
Hurst stated that the officers and other inmates were evaluated and that nobody suffered from any life-threatening injuries.
Following the escape, the Centerville school system went into “precautionary lockdown.”
According to statements posted on Facebook, elementary students were temporarily held in the gym and high school students in the library before being permitted to go home.
Due to “the ongoing situation west of I45 and Hwy 7,” both schools have been canceled on Friday.