Centerville residents relieved fugitive was killed, mourning killing of Collins Family members

Published: Jun. 3, 2022 at 6:19 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 3, 2022 at 6:49 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CENTERVILLE, Texas (KWTX) - There are still lots of unanswered questions after the shooting death of Gonzalo Lopez, the Texas fugitive who escaped custody in May.

For three weeks, he was on the run after escaping a prison bus in Centerville. Authorities believe before a shootout with police, he murdered five people in a Centerville home, then escaped.

Even though he was killed in a police shootout near San Antonio, residents of Centerville are still a bit shaken. Some folks are still looking over their shoulder because of the past three weeks.

“It tore me all to pieces, because I knew Mr. Dale Collins for years,” said Noal Goolsby, Centerville’s mayor. “He was just a good Christian man. I thought the world of him.”

For life-long residents like Goolsby, the murders of the five inside the Centerville home was something he never thought would happen in the town of more than 800.

“I just couldn’t believe that anybody could go in there and murder five innocent people and then steal a vehicle and leave like it’s nothing,” said Mayor Goolsby, speaking on police’s belief that Lopez stole a truck to flee from Centerville.

With the shock of the incident comes frustration and since Lopez’s death, a bit of comfort.

“I hate for anybody to be killed, that’s just not my nature,” said Goolsby. “But what he done to those people, he deserved it.”

And because of the three-week manhunt for Lopez, the mayor found himself dishing out advice to residents on how they could stay safe.

“There’s been quite a few of them, ‘what do we do, what do we need to do?’ I said, keep your doors locked and don’t go out any more than you have to,” he said.

And for passersby like Teresa Baker, the thought of something like this is hard to process.

“In a small town, it’s just unbelievable, you just don’t think of it happening,” said Baker.

And for the mayor and his people, it will take a little time before they can go back to how they were.

“They’re going to stay uptight and they’re going to be uptight and they’re going to stay a lot more careful for the next year, I would say,” said Goolsby. “Then after that it’ll lighten up, eventually.”

Copyright 2022 KWTX. All rights reserved.