Officials release photos of escaped Texas inmate's tattoos as search enters 3rd week

Gonzalo Lopez, 46, reportedly got out of his restraints and cut through the metal cage of a prison bus on May 12, 2022.

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Monday, May 30, 2022
New photos show tattoos as search for escaped inmate enters 3rd week
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Gonzalo Lopez was serving two life sentences when he escaped nearly three weeks ago. Officials say he's affiliated with the Mexican Mafia.

CENTERVILLE, Texas (KTRK) -- The Texas Department of Criminal Justice released new photos as the search continues for a prison inmate who escaped in an area halfway between Houston and Dallas almost three weeks ago.

Gonzalo Lopez, 46, escaped from a prison bus on May 12 near Centerville. He hasn't been seen since.

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 in Hidalgo County and was sentenced to life in prison, according to the TDCJ.

Additionally, he received a second life sentence after he was convicted for attempted capital murder in Webb County in 2007.

Officials say Lopez is affiliated with the Mexican Mafia and has ties to the Rio Grande Valley and San Antonio.

A $50,000 reward is being offered for information leading to his capture: The Texas Department of Public Safety is offering $35,000, U.S. Marshals are offering $10,000 and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice is offering $5,000.

The new photos show tattoos across Lopez's chest, back and arms.

The word "Gonzo" is tattooed across his abdomen, while his back says "Mexican" across the top, according to officials.

Officials say Lopez was being transported from the Hughes Unit in Gatesville to the Estelle Unit in Huntsville for a medical appointment when he escaped.

RELATED: New photos released as search for escaped Texas inmate who stole and crashed prison bus continues

The TDCJ said due to his criminal history and restrictive housing status, Lopez was being transported in a separate, caged area of the bus, designed for high-risk inmates.

During the transport, Lopez reportedly got out of his restraints, cut through the expanded metal and crawled out of the bottom of the cage.

That's when law enforcement officials say he attacked the bus driver.

The officer reportedly stopped the bus and engaged in an altercation with Lopez. The two of them eventually exited the bus.

Officials said a second officer exited the rear door of the bus and tried to approach Lopez.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Authorities looking for escaped inmate who stole and crashed bus near Centerville

However, Lopez reportedly reentered the bus and began driving away.

The two officers fired shots at the inmate, which ultimately disabled the bus when a bullet struck a rear tire.

The bus then traveled a short distance and left the roadway before Lopez got out and ran into the woods off Highway 7 in Leon County, officials said.

Leon County is roughly 116 miles north of Houston.

Lopez is 6 feet tall, 185 pounds and heavily tattooed, and was last seen wearing white clothing.

Anyone with information on his location should call TDCJ OIG Crime Stoppers at 1-800-832-8477 or 936-437-5171. Officials consider Lopez to be armed and extremely dangerous. Do not attempt to apprehend this fugitive.

SEE ALSO: Authorities offering $50K reward for escaped inmate who stole and crashed bus near Centerville