WISE COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – The man who shot a Montague County deputy and shot at officers while leading them on a high speed chase through Wise County, could be connected to the murder of Colorado’s Department of Corrections Director Tom Clements.
CBS 4 Denver and The Denver Post have identified the suspect as Evan Ebel, 28, a parolee and member of a white supremacist prison group. Sources tell CBS 11 he is also a possible suspect for the March 17 murder of a Denver area pizza delivery man, two days before Clements was shot and killed on his front doorstep.
Investigators are looking into the possibility that Ebel dressed in the pizza delivery uniform to lure Clements to the door. A pizza box and Domino’s delivery shirt were found in the back seat of the car Ebel was driving in North Texas.
The Denver Post reported in Friday editions that Colorado corrections officials were investigating whether Clements’ murder was a “hit” ordered by white supremacist leaders.
Ebel’s deadly end began as he crossed paths with Montague County Sheriff’s Deputy James Boyd, as Boyd tried to pull him over. A source told CBS 11 News that as Deputy Boyd approached the suspect vehicle, Ebel started shooting. Two bullets hit Boyd in the chest, but the deputy was wearing a bulletproof vest. Another shot is believed to have hit Boyd on the ear. Witness say after he was shot in Montague County, Deputy Boyd was conscious and talking at the scene. The deputy, who had been with the sheriff’s department for three years, was taken by air ambulance to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth. Early Friday morning, hospital officials listed him as remaining in serious condition. He is expected to recover.
Ebel then fled from the scene as law enforcement officials with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), Wise County Sheriff’s Office and Decatur Police Department pursued. Ebel reportedly continued shooting as he led authorities on a chase reaching speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour.
Eventually Ebel crashed the older model Cadillac he was driving in Decatur, near Highway 380 and US 287. After the crash, Wise County Sheriff’s officials say he exited the vehicle and continued shooting at officers. Times Record News reporter Lynn Walker told KRLD NewsRadio 1080, “There were more shots after the wreck occurred.”
“He didn’t plan on being taken alive,” said Decatur Police Chief Rex Hoskins. It didn’t look like he wanted to be caught or taken alive.”
Officers returned fire and hit Ebel in the head. He was transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced legally dead. He was kept on life support for a short time for potential organ donation.
The Texas Rangers are in North Texas and are leading the investigation. By Thursday evening, at least 10 investigators from several Colorado agencies had arrived in Wise County and been briefed by the Sheriffs office.
Texas authorities are checking whether the black Cadillac with Colorado plates Ebel was driving matches the car spotted near Clements home. Investigators are also looking at shell casings found at the scene of the chase and shootout to see if they match those found at Clements’ home.
Legal records show Ebel was convicted of several crimes in Colorado dating back to 2003, including assaulting a prison guard in 2008. He apparently was paroled, but Colorado Department of Corrections spokeswoman Alison Morgan said she could not release information on prisoners because of the ongoing investigation into Tom Clements’ death.
(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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