Houston family grieves grandfather, 4 grandchildren killed by escaped inmate

Houston family grieves grandfather, 4 grandchildren killed by escaped inmate

HOUSTON, Texas (KBTX) – A Houston family is grieving the loss of a grandfather and four grandsons after they were murdered Thursday night in Centerville. Authorities believe the escaped inmate Gonzalo Lopez is responsible for the tragedy.

A Friday news conference with Crime Stoppers of Houston and the family’s pastor identified the victims as 66-year-old grandfather Mark Collins and his grandsons, brothers Waylon, 18, Carson, 16, and Hudson, 11, along with their 11-year-old cousin Bryson.

The five were visiting their family ranch in Centerville. In a statement on Friday, the family said they were devastated by the loss of their family members. Friday morning, Tomball ISD confirmed the four boys were students in the district. Waylon had just graduated.

“The loss of a student, for any reason, is heartbreaking, but to lose four in such a tragic way is excruciating, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of these beloved students and grandfather,” an email from the district said.

A GoFundMe page verified by family and Crime Stoppers is collecting donations for the victims’ loved ones.

Authorities confirmed that they had no link to Lopez and that the house had been searched and cleared multiple times since the convicted killer escaped on May 12.

Lopez was killed Thursday after a shootout with law enforcement officers in Atascosa County. The Texas Department of Public Safety said Lopez stole a vehicle from the residence and was spotted by officers right outside San Antonio.

A chase ensued and Lopez crashed into a tree. Lopez then got out of the truck with a firearm and shot at law enforcement. TDCJ Chief of Staff Jason Clark said officers returned fire, ultimately killing Lopez. No officers were injured in the shootout.

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