RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Texas law enforcement agencies are searching for a man they say assaulted an officer before crashing and escaping a transport bus while serving a life sentence for murder.

On Thursday, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) announced that Gonzalo Lopez, 46, is wanted after he escaped a transport bus in Leon County east of Waco. TDCJ says Lopez assaulted a correctional officer on the bus and then fled the vehicle after he stole and crashed the bus near Centerville.

Gonzalo Lopez’s 2005 mugshot (photo: Hidalgo County public records)

Lopez is serving a life sentence for a 2005 capital murder in Hidalgo County and a 2004 attempted murder in Webb County.

According to court records, Lopez was found guilty in February 2006 of killing Jose Guadalupe Ramirez, 37.

On March 23, 2005, police at the time said Ramirez was kidnapped from his home by two men. Lopez then killed Ramirez with a pickaxe. Lopez was identified as one of the suspects by one of the victim’s relatives.

After his arrest, Lopez directed police to the location where Ramirez’s body was buried. He also told police he was ordered to kill Lopez by a drug cartel because Ramirez owed them drug money.

Lopez was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. He was imprisoned at the Alfred Hughes TDCJ unit in Gatesville, Texas.

Anyone with information on Lopez’s whereabouts is asked to call 911 and is advised to not approach him.