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New photos of a Texas prison inmate who is the subject of a massive manhunt following his violent escape from a bus nearly a week ago were released Wednesday showing him in restraints hours before he executed his daring getaway.
The images released by the Texas Dertment of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) show Gonzalo Lopez, 46, as he was being escorted onto a bus on the morning of May 12.
He was being transported from the Alfred Hughes Unit outside of Gatesville in central Texas to a prison medical facility in Huntsville. He was being held in a serate, caged area of the bus designed for high-risk inmates, authorities said.
During the trip, Lopez managed to break free from his restraints, cut through a metal door and crawled through the bottom of the cage, officials said. He allegedly stabbed the bus driver in the chest and a hand.
TEXAS LAW ENFORCEMENT SEARCHES FOR ESCAPED CONVICTED MURDERER ON HORSEBACK; REWARD INCREASED
He briefly gained control of the vehicle until another guard used a shotgun to shoot out the back tires. The bus crashed and Lopez fled on foot in Leon County. At the time, he was serving a life sentence for the 2005 murder of José Guadalupe Ramirez, who Lopez held for ransom and allegedly later killed on orders from a Mexican cartel.
The search for him is ongoing.
The TDCJ said Monday the manhunt is the largest concentrated effort since 2004 or 2005.
“This is one of the largest searches since the early 2000s when the infamous Texas 7 escaped from the Connally Unit in south Texas. They were all eventually caught in Texas and Colorado Springs, CO except for one who killed himself,” TDCJ public information officer Robert Hurst serately told Acesparks Digital by email Tuesday.
A $ 50,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction.
Acesparks’ Danielle Wallace contributed to this report.