Gatesville (FOX 44) — The Texas Department of Criminal Justice released an extensive report on its investigation into the escape of prison inmate Gonzalo Lopez. The convicted killer for a drug cartel escaped custody on May 12th, 2022 while going from Gatesville’s Hughes Unit to Huntsville’s Estelle Unit.

Almost a month later, Lopez died in a gunfight with Atascosa County Deputies. During his time on the loose, he had killed five members of a family.

The report details what happened the day of the escape and what changes TDCJ is implementing to make sure this never happens. It recommends reviewing the actions of 17 correctional officers for possible policy violations.

In the report, investigators also point out that the Hughes Unit only had 318 of 556 officer positions filled.

Investigators determined through video surveillance that Officer Randy Smith failed to conduct a proper strip search of Lopez or place hand restraints on him. It also showed that Officer Smith did not search Lopez’s property bag.

The report states that at 9:34 a.m., Officers Gerardo Velasquez and Dillion Miller also failed to conduct a thorough strip search of Lopez before putting restraints on him and taking him to a waiting area.

At 10:18 a.m., Officers Jimmie Brinegar and Miller picked up Lopez from the waiting area. The report says they also failed to do a proper strip search of the inmate. It says Officer Brinegar failed to properly apply the leg restraints. Before taking him to the bus, the report says the officers did not use the Body Orifice Security Scanner (BOSS) chair.

The investigation found the parcel scanner had been down since April of 2022, meaning no property was scanned prior to loading it onto the bus. They left for Huntsville at 11:11 a.m., once all inmates were loaded onto the bus.

Inmates told investigators that Lopez showed them two 8″ to 10″ metal weapons and produced what looked like a handcuff from his mouth.

They say Lopez asked some of the other inmates if they wanted to escape with him. One said yes, but backed out when he learned that Lopez planned on killing the guards, driving to I-45, hijacking another car after killing the driver, and then hideout in San Antonio.

Officer Brinegar kept watch from the back of the bus, and witnesses claim some inmates blocked his view as Lopez removed his shackles. The other inmates say Lopez then used his two metal weapons to break the expanded metal welds free on the bottom of the restrictive housing compartment entrance door.

The report says that at 1:15 p.m., Officer Smith was driving the bus when he felt a tug on his handgun holster. He looked down and saw Lopez squeezing through the bottom of the restrictive housing compartment door.

Officer Smith blocked Lopez from getting his gun and slammed on the brakes, which brought Lopez fully into the driver’s compartment of the bus. The two men fought, with Lopez stabbing Officer Smith with a metal weapon. Both men fell out of the bus, and Lopez was able to take Officer Smith’s gun.

At that point, the report says Officer Brinegar jumped out of the back of the bus with a shotgun, thinking there had been a crash. He found Officer Smith and Lopez fighting and ordered the inmate off his fellow officer.

Lopez ran back into the bus, while the two officers yelled at him to stop. Smith took Brinegar’s shotgun, while the other officer pulled out his handgun. Officer Brinegar fired at Lopez several times to stop him. Officer Lopez fired the shotgun at the right rear outside tire of the bus, but Lopez drove off towards Centerville.

The bus was later found wrecked out along SH 7, and witnesses saw Lopez running off into the woods.

Over the next 20 days, search teams combed the area looking for Lopez. They searched dozens of buildings in the area and cleared them. On May 31st, they learned of a burglary of a previously cleared cabin and found what turned out to be Lopez’s fingerprints and DNA.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice posted photos and videos Sunday of law enforcement on horseback searching for Gonzalo Lopez near Centerville in Leon County. Lopez broke out of prison Friday and is wanted on capital murder charges. (Photo: TX Dept. of Criminal Justice)

On June 2, 2022, law enforcement got a call from a person worried that they had not heard from a relative in the area. Officers investigated and found the bodies of 66-year-old Mark Collins, and his four grandsons: Waylon Collins, 18; Carson Collins, 16; Hudson Collins, 11; and Bryson Collins, 11. Waylon, Carson and Hudson were brothers and Bryson was their cousin.

Law enforcement also discovered that a 1999 white Chevrolet Silverado was missing.

At 10 p.m., Atascosa County deputies found that truck in Jourdanton and chased it. Spike strips stopped the truck and deputies got into a gunfight with Lopez, killing him.

You an read the full report below: