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The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) wrote on Friday that a $22,500 reward was being offered for information leading to the capture of escaped inmate Gonzalo Lopez.
A manhunt is currently underway for Lopez, 46, who was convicted of murder and escaped from a prison bus after stabbing a corrections officer during a transport on Thursday.
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In a Facebook post Saturday, the Leon County Sheriff’s Office said that while they had no reason to believe he had left the area, “there is no evidence to support of that, for the time being”.
“Detainee Gonzalo Lopez remains uncaptured. We have no reason to believe he left the area, there is Highway 7 between Robbins [and] Centerville is still closed, please avoid the area as much as you can. We have several [agencies] work together to return Lopez to custody,” the office wrote.
People living in the search area are instructed to keep all doors locked on homes, buildings and vehicles.
Lopez – who was one of 16 prisoners on the bus – may have released his restraints before using an unknown object to stab the bus driver in the hand, according to Fox 26.
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The station said the officer struggled with Lopez to keep him from taking his gun and another officer shot him – but it’s still unclear if Lopez was hit. The bus crashed into a ditch and the other inmates were not injured.
Lopez was wearing a prison-issued white uniform when he escaped, according to the sheriff’s office.
Jason Clark, chief of staff for the TDCJ, told The Associated Press that the bus driver suffered non-life-threatening injuries,
Fox 26 said Lopez was last seen walking through a cow pasture west of Centerville.
Lopez was serving a life sentence for capital murder and attempted capital murder. He was convicted in 2006 of killing a man along the Texas-Mexico border.
Jail records show that Lopez was recently detained in a jail in Gatesville.
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People who see something suspicious should call the sheriff’s office at (903) 536-2749, contact TDCJ OIG CRIME STOPPERS at 1-800-832-8477 or 936-437-5171 or call 911.
Authorities say not to approach Lopez.
Fox News’ Stephanie Pagones, Emmett Jones and Associated Press contributed to this report.