MURDERER: More on the Man Police Believe Killed a Texas Family Last Week
Last week in Centerville, Texas, a grandfather and four of his grandsons were murdered in their home. Authorities believe the man who brutally murdered them was 46-year-old Gonzalo Lopez.
Lopez was being transported via prison bus last month and escaped by stabbing and injuring the bus driver. His flight from justice occurred somewhere close to Centerville, Texas. This is the same area where the Collins Family lived. And then died. Officers discovered five bodies at the Collins home.
"Authorities believe while Lopez roamed free, he killed a man and his four grandsons, then stole an AR-15-style rifle and a pistol from their ranch near Centerville, as well as the truck he drove to Atascosa County, south of San Antonio, where he was fatally shot by officers."
Sometimes these news headlines come across as so straightforward, that it may be difficult to fully grasp the horror of a scenario such as this.
In a few moments, a convicted murderer who escaped from a prison bus forever changed the lives of the Collins family, who are clearly much loved in their community. A grandfather and four grandsons were murdered. The victims:
Mark Collins, 66
Waylon Collins, 18
Carson Collins, 16
Hudson Collins, 11
Bryson Collins, 11
Who was this Gonzalo Lopez, the man already in prison for murder who escaped and murdered an innocent family, before being shot by officers?
CBS reports that Lopez had been a member of the 'Mexican Mafia,' a prison gang, and also worked as a contract killer for at least two drug cartels. He was also in prison for charges of attempted capital murder, aggravated assault, and kidnapping.
Not too long ago, Gonzalo Lopez had actually confessed to law enforcement that he "had been on his way to Laredo to kill a restaurant and bar owner for the Mileno drug cartel from Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, in 2004 when he became embroiled in a shootout with deputies who tried to stop his vehicle," according to CBS.
Despite the efforts of the TDCJ, State Troopers, U.S. Marshals Service, and Sheriff's deputies, Lopez still escaped south of the border, having been assisted by the Mexican Mafia.
Then in early 2005, Lopez told authorities he's been "contracted by La Mana drug cartel from Tamaulipas, Mexico, to kidnap a man named Lupe Ramirez from Weslaco in South Texas because he owed the cartel $40,000, according to court records," reports CBS.
Ramirez was kidnapped by Lopez along with a co-kidnapper and was then hog-tied and later bludgeoned on the head with a pickaxe before being buried out in a desert area.
He was serving two life sentences for the 2004 crimes when he escaped last month before allegedly murdering the Collins family in Centerville, TX last Thursday.
Regarding the scene of the Collins Family murders, during a press conference, the director of victim services and advocacy for Crime Stoppers of Houston, Andy Kahan, said it was "absolutely one of the most gut-wrenching scenarios that I've dealt with and I've seen a lot and been through a lot."
Upon leaving the residence, Gonzalo Lopez stole a truck and weapons and tried to escape. He was seen by authorities a little before 10:00 p.m. in Atascosa County where he began to engage in firing on the officers before he was gunned down.
Our deepest condolences to the Collins Family and love to all who loved them.
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