Search continues for escaped inmate who allegedly stabbed officer, stole prison bus in Texas

CENTERVILLE, Texas — A search continues in Texas after an inmate allegedly stabbed a corrections officer and stole a prison bus Thursday afternoon, officials say.

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The Leon County Sheriff’s Office says Gonzalo Lopez, 46, remains at large. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice says Lopez was on a transport bus from their facility to another. TDCJ is working with multiple agencies to locate him.

KHOU 11 says Lopez was on a bus with 15 other inmates when he allegedly slipped out of his shackles, went to the front of the bus and stabbed the driver, a correctional officer. Both struggled and then Lopez tried to grab the gun from the driver, but was unsuccessful. The stolen bus crashed into a ditch outside of Centerville.

KBTX says the TDCJ will be offering a $15,000 reward for any information that leads them to the arrest of Lopez.

The bus was heading to a facility and was about 110 miles into the 160-miles trip when Lopez escaped. Lopez allegedly was last seen running across a field, says KHOU 11. Officers shot in his direction but it is not clear if Lopez was struck.

According to Centerville School District, classes were canceled for Friday, and the LCSO is asking everyone in the immediate area to shelter in place.

The driver of the bus is expected to make a full recovery, says TDCJ. Lopez is serving a life sentence for killing a man with a pickax, according to KHOU 11.

If you see anyone suspicious or someone you do not recognize, call 911 and do not approach him.

Tips on whereabouts can be sent to the TDCJ OIG Crime Stoppers at 1-800-832-8477, 936-437-5171, or by also calling 911. Tips can also be left on the TDCJ website.

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