Escaped murderer kills family of five including three children at their weekend cabin

Fugitive Gonzalo Lopez has been shot dead by police after stealing family’s white pick-up truck

<p>This undated photo provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows Gonzalo Lopez</p>

This undated photo provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows Gonzalo Lopez

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A family of five has been killed in Texas by a convicted murderer who escaped from a prison bus, according to the authorities.

Fugitive Gonzalo Lopes, 46, was shot dead late on Thursday night, according to Texas prison system officials, but not before he massacred the family – including three children – and stole their pick-up truck.

Police found the bodies at the family’s weekend cabin in the woods after they received a call from someone concerned about not hearing back from an elderly relative.

The fugitive was thought to be have been hiding in the vicinity of the cabin.

“Law enforcement in Atascosa County located the stolen vehicle, disabled it with spike strips, and gunfire ensued,” said Jason Clark, spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

He was “killed by law enforcement in Atascosa County. He shot at officers who returned fire killing him.”

Officials have not released the identities of the family that Lopez killed, but added that they had no link with Lopez.

Lopez had been on the run since 12 May after escaping a prison bus and stabbing its driver.

Authorities have said Lopez managed to free himself from his restraints on the prison bus and then cut through the expanded metal of the cage and crawl out through the bottom.

He then attacked the driver, who stopped the bus and got into an altercation with Lopez, and they both eventually got off the bus.

Lopez got back on the bus and drove away as a second officer exited the vehicle from the rear. The officers fired at Lopez who got out of the bus after gunshots had disabled the vehicle and fled into the woods. Officials say that at some point during the escape Lopez stabbed the driver, whose injuries were not life-threatening.

A former member of the Mexican Mafia prison gang and with ties to South Texas, Lopez had been the subject of an intense search after his escape from the bus.

He was serving a life term in prison for a 2006 conviction of murdering a man along the Texas-Mexico border.

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