Newly released photos show the tattoos of escaped Texas inmate Gonzalo Lopez, who has been on the lam for nearly three weeks after stabbing a prison bus driver and making his getaway into the desert.
The reward for information leading to the capture of 46-year-old Lopez, an affiliate of the Mexican Mafia who was serving back-to-back life sentences for murder and attempted murder, is currently sitting at $50,000. The U.S. Marshals Service released several photos last week showing Lopez’s various tattoos, including one reading “Aztlan” across his lower back and another with “Gonzo” on his stomach.
The “heavily tattooed” fugitive, described as a White or Hispanic male standing approximately six-foot tall and weighing 185 pounds, also has distinct artwork inked on both arms and his chest.
Lopez escaped custody on May 12 after getting out of his restraints while being transported in a bus for high-risk inmates in a rural area near Centerville, Texas. He is accused of cutting through a metal cage and stabbing a correction officer behind the wheel, temporarily stealing the bus before a second guard shot out the tires and the vehicle crashed. Lopez was last seen running into the woods off Highway 7.
The Leon County Sheriff’s Office issued arrest warrants for escape and aggravated assault against a public servant. Lopez, who has ties to the Rio Grande Valley and San Antonio, is considered armed and dangerous and authorities urge the public not to try to apprehend him themselves.
Hundreds of law enforcement on foot and horseback have been involved in the search in what officials have said is considered the largest concentrated manhunt in decades.
In 1996, Lopez was convicted of two counts of aggravated assault and received two eight-year sentences. In 2006, he was convicted of capital murder and aggravated kidnapping and was sentenced to life in prison. Lopez received a second life sentence after he was convicted for attempted capital murder in 2007.
“The Marshals Service has elevated Gonzalo Lopez to major case status and is contributing up to $10,000 toward his capture,” U.S. Marshal for the Western District of Texas Susan Pamerleau said in a May 25 statement. “We sincerely hope this money will serve as an incentive for someone who knows something to do the right thing and contact us. The sooner we get him back into custody, the better.”
In addition to the $10,000 from the U.S. Marshals Service, the Texas Department of Public Safety is offering $35,000, and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice is offering $5,000.
Anyone with information on his whereabouts is urged to contact TDCJ Office of Inspector General CRIME STOPPERS at 1-800-832-8477 or 936-437-5171 or your local law enforcement agency at 911. Tips may also be sent to the U.S. Marshals Service Communications Center at 1-800-336-0102 or via the USMS Tips app.