Prison killer
Officials Issue Warrant For Alabama Corrections Officer Missing With Inmate Photo by Damir Spanic on Unsplash

An inmate from Texas who managed to bust out of his shackles during transportation on Thursday is now the subject of a manhunt with a reward for his capture now pitted at $50,000. Gonzalo Lopez, 46, was on his way to a medical appointment when he escaped.

According to ABC News, Lopez broke free and overpowered the bus driver around 1:20 p.m. local time while they were en route and passing through a rural area from Gatesville to Huntsville in Leon County. The escaped convict is serving a life sentence, reportedly slipped out of his shackles and used an undetermined sharp object to cut out the bottom door that separates the inmates from the driver. He then stabbed the driver’s hand and chest and lunged for his pistol but the driver was able to block him from taking his firearm.

"He used some type of device, we don't know what some type of device, to cut out the bottom of the door," an official from the Texas department of criminal justice, Robert Hurst said.

Two prison guards were detailed on the bus, with one guard able to fire two shots into the rear tires of the bus. Lopez was determined to speed off with the bus despite its flat tires and drove it for about 1 mile before he crashed.

From there, Lopez decided to make a run for it and jumped out of the bus. One of the two guards fired both his pistol and a shotgun at Lopez, however, they could not verify if any of the weapons hit Lopez. There were 15 other inmates on the bus but none of them tried to make a run for it during the scuffle.

Meanwhile, the wounded guard’s injuries were said to be non-life-threatening. A massive frenzied manhunt for Lopez has been launched with the sightings saying he was last seen running across a nearby cow pasture. Some 300 law enforcement officers from local, state, and federal agencies are searching the nearby areas of Centerville. Investigators highly suspect him to be hiding among the creek beds or brush patches.

Lopez was convicted of attempted capital murder for shooting an officer in 2004 and capital murder for killing a man using a pickaxe after holding him for ransom when a drug deal went awry near the Texas border. The reward for his capture was initially at $15,000 but this had doubled over the weekend being that Lopez is listed in the state’s 10 Most Wanted Fugitives with ties to the Mexican Mafia.

Representation Image Prison Tower Security Fence JCFUL/ Pixabay