CENTERVILLE, Texas — On Thursday, escaped Leon County inmate Gonzalo Lopez's three-week-long run from authorities came to a halt.
This was moments after authorities confirmed that two adults and three children were found dead in a Centerville home. The victims have now been identified as 66-year-old Mark Collins and his four grandsons, Waylon, 18, Carson, 16, Hudson, 11, and Bryson, 11.
Lopez was the prime suspect in their deaths.
Lopez was spotted in Atascosa County driving a 1999 white Chevy Silverado that was reported stolen from the Centerville home when the bodies were found.
Texas Department of Criminal Justice's Chief of Staff, Jason Clark stated that when Lopez was caught by Atascosa County officers, there was a chase that put Lopez's hiatus to rest. A relief for law enforcement, he said.
"After a short chase and a crash, Gonzalo Lopez exited the Chevy Silverado with a firearm and engaged law enforcement officers who engaged back and ultimately killed Lopez," Clark stated. "I am thankful that [Thursday night] Gonzalo Lopez is unable to harm anyone else."
A loved one of the family, living in the Centerville home, was visiting only to discover the tragedy of their family.
Several residents were shell-shocked by the news and devastated. One of them being Centerville resident, Kayla Langford, explained that the Centerville community is close-knit and small.
"I can't imagine them walking into that house with him there and taking those kids' lives, there's no excuses for that," Langford said. "They're gonna have to bury those people."
As the Centerville community recovers, police said they are now looking into investigating the procedure of prison transport.
After an ongoing search for weeks, looking high and low to capture Lopez, it's now a sigh of relief for police and the community.
"I'm just glad that some of the law enforcement down there were listening to the bolo and spotted the vehicle and followed him and just end it," Langford said.
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