Manhunt underway after convicted murderer escapes after allegedly attacking officer driving prison bus

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(CNN)A manhunt continued Friday for a murderer who is connected the tally successful Leon County successful eastbound Central Texas aft assaulting a corrections serviceman and fleeing a situation bus, officials said.

Gonzalo Lopez, 46, was serving a beingness condemnation for superior execution and attempted superior murder, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said.

The flight happened Thursday day connected Highway 7 adjacent Centerville, which is astir 120 miles northbound of Houston, section officials said.

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TDCJ spokesperson Robert Hurst told reporters Friday that Lopez is precise unsafe and residents should enactment indoors.

"He's got a beingness condemnation for a superior murder, wherever helium killed a antheral with a pickaxe and he's besides gotten an attempted superior execution condemnation for shooting a weapon astatine a constabulary officer," Hurst said.

Hurst told citizens not to prosecute Lopez, who was wearing a achromatic garment and achromatic pants erstwhile helium escaped, and to telephone 911 if helium is spotted. There is simply a $15,000 reward for accusation starring to his capture.

The FBI and US Marshals are progressive successful the search, which includes astir 300 local, authorities and national instrumentality enforcement personnel.

Inmate got underneath doorway wrong bus

As the transport autobus was headed from Gatesville to Huntsville to instrumentality inmates to aesculapian appointments, Lopez was capable to get retired of his restraints and scope the driver, Officer Randy Smith, said Hurst.

"They got into a carnal altercation portion Officer Smith was driving the bus. He stabbed Officer Smith successful the near manus with immoderate benignant of object," Hurst said Thursday during a media briefing carried by CNN affiliate KBTX. "Officer Smith struggled with him trying to support him from getting his work revolver -- his weapon."

Hurst said that Smith prevented the inmate from taking his limb and the autobus came to a stop.

"The inmate bailed retired of the bus, the different inmates were inactive successful their seats -- inactive successful their restraints," helium said.

The different serviceman connected the bus, Jimmy Brinegar, fired astatine the fleeing inmate with his work limb arsenic good arsenic a shotgun, according to Hurst. "We bash not cognize if the inmate was deed by immoderate of these shots. Last we saw him helium was fleeing crossed the cattle pasture westbound of Centerville."

The officers and the remaining inmates had been evaluated and nary had suffered immoderate life-threatening injuries helium said.

Hurst said Friday investigators are inactive trying to fig retired however Lopez got retired of his restraints and into the compartment up front. There is simply a secured doorway with metallic mesh astir it, Hurst said.

"Somehow, we don't cognize yet however that happened. He got up underneath. He utilized immoderate benignant of a instrumentality to chopped retired the bottommost of that door. He got down underneath the door, helium crawled underneath the doorway ... and erstwhile helium got done that opening that helium chopped open, that's erstwhile helium started struggling with the officer," Hurst said.

When asked whether Lopez had help, Hurst said the probe had not answered that yet.

Schools closed

The Centerville schoolhouse territory went into "a precautionary lockdown" aft the escape.

Elementary students were temporarily held successful their schoolhouse gym and precocious schoolhouse students successful their room earlier being allowed to caput home, according to statements posted connected Facebook.

Both schools were closed Friday, the schoolhouse territory said.

CNN's Michelle Watson, Andy Rose and Susannah Cullinane contributed to this report.

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