Search continues for escaped Texas inmate

Southwest

(NewsNation) — Police continued their search Wednesday for an escaped Texas inmate whom they identified as a member of the Mexican mafia.

According to authorities, Gonzalo Lopez escaped prison after stabbing a transport bus driver in a rural county between Houston and Dallas. He was serving a life sentence after being convicted in the 2005 slaying of another man along the Texas-Mexico border. Officials say Lopez, 46, killed the man with a pickaxe.

Also Wednesday, authorities released new images of Lopez that were taken with a surveillance camera just before he was loaded on the bus.

The escape prompted more than 300 officers from agencies throughout the state to flood Leon County in pursuit of Lopez. Police are focusing their search in Centerville.

“He’s gonna be out of food and make mistakes,” former U.S. Marshall Matt Fogg said.

According to Fogg, the odds that Lopez is still within the five-square-mile perimeter that’s being searched are slim, but possible. It’s more likely that Lopez either stole a car or coordinated with someone to pick him up, Fogg said.

“We’re talking about the Mexican mafia who he has been in touch with,” Fogg said. “They are doing due diligence on those areas to figure out whatever moves it’s possible he could have made.”

Fogg reiterated that Lopez is extremely dangerous. The escaped inmate’s criminal past includes murder and shooting at a police officer.

“The reality of it is, he’s got nothing to lose,” Fogg said. “He’s going to do whatever it takes to be free, so if you happen to be in his way, he’s going to take you out and that’s not gong to be a problem.”

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice confirmed there are no plans to scale back the search for Lopez. The reward for finding him now sits at $50,000.

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