The search for the escaped Texas convict has come to an end about 220 miles outside of Centerville after he was killed in a shootout with police. On May 12, 46-year-old Gonzalo Lopez injured the driver of a prison transport bus before escaping.
Lopez was imprisoned for killing on behalf of the Mexican drug cartels. On June 3, Lopez came upon Mark Collins’ ranch.
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Lopez murdered the 66-year-old grandfather as well as his four grandsons, 18-year-old Waylon Collins, 16-year-old Carson Collins, 11-year-old Hudson Collins, and 11-year-old Bryson Collins, NBCDFW reports.
According to NBCDFW, Waylon, Carson, and Hudson were brothers, and Bryson was their cousin. The Collins family has been described by their pastor as having the “greatest character, the deepest faith, and unrelenting kindness and love.”
In a statement released by the family, they shared the same sentiments about their five loved ones whose lives were taken too soon. “These precious people who loved and were loved by so many will never be forgotten.”
“The next few days are going to be tough on all of us,” a family friend told KAGS. A GoFundMe account has been set up to help raise money for the family as they prepare to lay them to rest. “We are heartbroken. After some requests, we established this site for donations to the Collins Family. This will be given to all three families. We ask for your continued prayers,” the GoFundMe reads.
Authorities discovered Mark, Waylon, Carson, Hudson, and Bryson after a welfare check was requested. Authorities made the discovered around 6 p.m. on June 3.
Their causes of death were not made known to the public. Andy Kahan, the director of victim services and advocacy for Crime Stoppers of Houston, called the murders “absolutely one of the most gut-wrenching scenarios that I’ve dealt with and I’ve seen a lot and been through a lot.”
After committing the mass murder, it’s believed Lopez stole an AR-15 and a pistol from the home and a truck. He was killed by Atascosa County officers following a brief chase.
He was located by local authorities just before 10 p.m., NBCDFW reports.
Officers used strips to flatten the truck’s tires. However, as Lopez attempted to keep driving he was eventually stopped when he drove the truck into two telephone poles and a fence while firing one of the stolen guns through the window of the truck.
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According to reporter Brian Entin, fellow residents admitted they are angry about the entire situation. “I am angry. I am angry at TDCJ for leaving us vulnerable. And they’re negligent for allowing this man to escape,” one resident explained to Entin. They’re demanding accountability, he said via Twitter.
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