FOOTAGE captured the dramatic moment an escaped convict fled into the woods after hijacking a prison bus.
Gonzalo Lopez, 46, stole the prison vehicle May 12 – weeks before he allegedly wiped out a family of five at their Texas vacation home.
Lopez was on his way to a doctor’s appointment in Huntsville when he ejected from the vehicle.
According to the Texas Department of Justice, he managed to free himself from his handcuffs and leg cuffs and cut through the cage’s expanded metal before crawling out of the floor.
Officials said he then attacked the bus driver and began driving the vehicle before it became inoperable and crashed.
Melanie Tieperman was driving with her son in Leon County when she encountered the crash site.
Cell phone footage shared with KAGS-TV appeared to show a figure, believed to be Lopez, running into the woods.
Her son Braxton said: “Yo, we saw the inmate! What the hell?”
Tieperman then shouted to the officers nearby: “He’s in the forest.”
Police officers were seen surrounding the bus and aiming guns in pursuit of the fugitive.
Lopez escaped custody before allegedly murdering a family on a Centerville property.
According to KHOU, he is accused of killing Mark Collins and his grandsons Waylon, 18, Carson, 16, Hudson, 11 and their 11-year-old cousin Bryson.
A person close to the family told NewsNation: “This is now an erased family.”
Officials believe they arrived at the ranch Thursday morning, hours before they were killed by the armed and dangerous convict.
David Crain, a longtime family friend, said the loss “will be irreparable”.
Three brothers, Waylon, Carson, and Hudson, were reportedly their parents’ only children.
Crain added that Hudson was christened at the family pool three days before the 11-year-old was shot in cold blood.
Lopez was then shot dead after being spotted in Jourdanton, Texas – south of San Antonio.
According to authorities, Lopez had in the car an AR-15 and a handgun that likely came from the apartment where he allegedly killed the family.
The Texas Department of Justice said they received a call from someone who was concerned after not hearing from an elderly relative.
Officers went to the apartment building and discovered the bodies, noting that a vehicle was also missing.
A 1999 white Chevrolet Silverado belonging to the Collins family was not at the residence.
Cops believe he may have been driving the vehicle before the shooting.
Lopez has a long criminal record dating back to 1996 when he was convicted of two counts of aggravated assault.
He was sentenced to eight years in prison.
Then, in 2006, Lopez was convicted of capital murder and aggravated kidnapping and sentenced to life in prison.
In 2007, Lopez received a second life sentence after a conviction for attempted capital murder in another county.
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https://www.the-sun.com/news/5488379/gonzalo-lopez-escaped-convict-fleeing-woods/ Escaped convict Gonzalo Lopez escaped into the woods after stealing the prison bus