Since their escape, the Texas Seven have been suspected of committing two robberies, including a fatal Christmas Eve burglary of an Oshman's Super Sports Store USA in Irving, Texas. It was during that confrontation that Police officer Aubrey Hawkins was killed. Hawkins was shot 11 times, mostly in the head, then run over. All seven men have been charged with capital murder in the slaying.
Today, Hawkins' mother told Good Morning America that the death of her son had created a permanent void in her and her family's life. Wiping tears from her face, Jayne Hawkins, who spent all day at home Monday on the phone following the capture, said relief was the only word to describe her feelings.
"How do you identify how you feel when they've got the killer of your child?" she said. "There's no word other than relief."
Investigators were afraid of a violent showdown with the gang because they allegedly stole a heavy arsenal of weapons and apparently were not afraid to kill in order to prevent their capture. Officials say the escapees stole at least one automatic rifle, 14 .357-caliber Magnum pistols and 238 rounds of ammunition during their escape from the Connally Unit of the prison in Kenedy, Texas, and numerous guns from the sports store.
"Given the history and high profile nature of this case, it was surprising that they surrendered with so little resistance," FBI Special Agent Jane Monroe, who was at the scene Monday, told ABCNEWS' Good Morning America.
They are also suspected of stealing police scanners and two-way radios during a robbery of a Radio Shack store near Dallas, and those scanners, investigators believe, may have helped the escapees in the fatal Christmas Eve robbery. They have also commandeered and abandoned vehicles during their prison escape and alleged robberies, leading authorities to believe they are receiving outside help.
"We feel they had help hiding out in the Dallas area," said Mac Stringfellow, chairman of the Texas Board of Criminal Justice. "We don't know whether it was it was a gang or just one individual. We haven't found out how they were able to make the escape and what help we received."
There had been reports of Texas Seven sightings everywhere from New York City to a Dallas County fireworks stand to Canon City in southwestern Colorado, but none of the tips had proved fruitful — until today.
A $500,000 reward was offered for information leading to their capture and conviction. The man who called in the tip that led to the five arrests may be eligible. ABCNEWS.com's Bryan Robinson and Julia Campbell, ABCNEWS' Pierre Thomas and WBAP Radio in Dallas contributed to this report.