THE victims believed to have been killed by escaped inmate Gonzalo Lopez at their family vacation home have been identified as Mark Collins and his four grandsons between the ages of 11 and 18.
An investigation into a possible murder-for-hire plot in the Texas town of Centerville led to the arrest of 46-year-old Lopez on Thursday evening.
According to KHOU, Collins and the four boys – Waylon Collins, 18, Carson, 16, Hudson, 11, and Bryson, 11 – were living at a family ranch along Highway 7 near Centerville. Officials believe they arrived at the property on Thursday morning, just a few hours before they were found dead.
Andy Kahan of Crime Stoppers Houston read a statement from the family on Friday night, which was then posted on the Crime Stoppers Houston website.
“The loss of our beloved family members at the Centerville, Texas, ranch has left us saddened. It’s impossible to forget these lovely folks, who were loved and cherished by so many “The following is the statement.
This is about as bad as it gets right now, according to government officials who spoke at that press conference.
Friend David Crain said the loss “is going to be unfillable,” a sentiment echoed by other family members.
Waylon, Carson, and Hudson were the only three offspring of their parents, according to reports.
Moreover, Hudson had only been christened three days prior in the family’s swimming pool, according to Crain.
In a statement sent out on Friday, the Tomball Independent School District reaffirmed that all four of the children were enrolled.
“The escaped Texas fugitive near Centerville took the lives of four Tomball ISD youngsters and their grandfather on Thursday,” the school said in a statement.
To lose four youngsters in such a horrific manner is heartbreaking, and our prayers go out to their loved ones and friends, as well as the grandfather who raised them,
Tomball schools are closed for the summer, but grief counsellors have been promised by the district.
A former star athlete at Tomball High School, Waylon Collins had just graduated when the incident occurred. Tomball Little League, where he worked as an umpire, released a statement expressing their “deep sadness” over the accident.
“Those who knew these people are in our thoughts and prayers at this time. Children at Tomball Little League had an umpire in their midst. The loss of a colleague and friend in our baseball community has left us all devastated.”
The gunfight took place in Jourdanton, Texas, which is just south of San Antonio.
The police say Lopez had an AR-15 and a handgun in the car, both of which were probably from the house where he killed the family.
Someone called the Texas Department of Criminal Justice because they were worried about an elderly relative they hadn’t heard from in a while.
When police went to the house, they found the bodies and saw that a car was also missing.
A white Chevrolet Silverado from 1999 that belonged to the Collins family could not be found at the house.
Police thought Lopez might have been driving the car and that he had a gun.
On May 12, Lopez got away from a prison bus that was going to Huntsville for a doctor’s appointment.
According to TDCJ, Lopez was able to cut through the cage’s stretched metal before crawling out the bottom of the cage after escaping his hand and leg bindings.
After that, Lopez went after the bus driver, who had just pulled over. The bus driver was stabbed in the hand and chest during the confrontation, but he survived.
Jason Clark, the chief of staff for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, said that the driver had been stabbed in the hand and chest.
Then, a police officer at the back of the bus got off and went up to Lopez. But the prisoner got back on and started to drive.
Officers fired at Lopez, and by shooting the bus’s back tire, they were able to stop it. Lopez got off the bus and ran into the woods before the bus could go much farther.
There were 16 other prisoners on the bus with them, but none of them got away.
Last month, TDCJ spokesman Robert Hurst said, “He’s smart.” “He did this before in Webb County, South Texas. He hid for almost nine days.”
Lopez has been in trouble with the law for a long time. In 1996, he was found guilty of two counts of aggravated assault.
An eight-year prison term was handed down to him.
Lopez was sentenced to life in prison in 2006 after being found guilty of capital murder and aggravated kidnapping.
Lopez was given a second life term in 2007 after being convicted in another county of attempted capital murder.