An escaped murderer suspected of killing five people while on the run was gunned down by Texas police, bringing an end to a three-week-long manhunt after the fugitive’s dramatic escape from a prison bus.

Gonzalo Lopez, 46, is serving back-to-back life sentences for shooting a Webb County, Texas sheriff’s deputy in 2004 and killing a man with a pickax in Hidalgo County after holding him ransom on a drug debt, KGNS-TV reported.

A shoot-out took place between police and Lopez in Jourdanton, about 35 miles south of San Antonio, on Thursday night. It came after police found the stolen vehicle of a family of five, whom he allegedly killed.

No other injuries were reported and details are still emerging about the murder convict and former gang member.

Lopez went missing on 12 May after he escaped from a prison bus traveling between Gatesville and Huntsville, Texas, while on his way to a medical appointment.

Although Lopez was in a caged area of the bus, authorities said he was able to free himself from his hand and leg restraints and cut through the metal cage.

He then crawled under the metal cage and attacked the driver of the bus, who stopped and got into an altercation with Lopez on the roadside.

The driver suffered stab wounds, which authorities said were not life-threatening.

Lopez got back on the bus as a second officer approached the pair and drove away, although police were able to disable the vehicle by shooting at its rear tire.

He escaped on foot into the woods in Leon County, between Dallas and Houston, and police issued an alert of his disappearance with a $50,000 reward for information.

Lopez had been hiding in a cabin belonging to a Houston family, south of Centerville, the Leon County capitol.

He was thought to have killed one adult and four minors at the cabin on Thursday morning before stealing their white pick-up truck.

A concerned family member alerted police to their possible disappearance and officers arrived at the Cabin on Thursday evening to find them deceased. Their vehicle was missing, however.

Police later found Lopez in the “stolen vehicle, disabled it with spike strips, and gunfire ensued,” said Texas’s criminal justice department.

He was killed in that exchange.

Watch the video report below for more details:

Sources: AWM, KGNS-TV

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