NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – More twists and turns in the case of a paroled Colorado prisoner and the shooting of a North Texas sheriff’s deputy.
During a Noon press conference officials from Wise County, Montague County, and the state of Colorado all spoke about the latest information involving the shooting of Montague County Sheriff’s Department Deputy James Boyd, shooting suspect Evan Ebel and possible links to the murder of Colorado Department of Corrections Director Tom Clements.
Montague County Sheriff Paul Cunningham only spoke briefly twice about Deputy Boyd and both times became very emotional. At the top of the press conference Cunningham said, “Our deputy that was injured yesterday in the tragic stop is doing great.” His voice began to quiver and he had to pause, but he then told reporters, “I talked to his mom and dad this morning and he was sitting up in bed and talking.”
Wise County Sheriff David Walker confirmed that the shooting suspect was Evan Ebel, and that while he had been mortally wounded and temporarily kept alive by machines, he had been pronounced dead. “Within the last 24 hours of identifying suspect, through fingerprint identification, we had El Paso County in Colorado make official notification to family,” he said.
Ebel’s reign of terror is believed to have begun in Colorado. Investigators there believe he killed 27-year-old Domino’s pizza deliveryman Nathan Leon and stole his uniform. Authorities believe Ebel then dressed in the pizza delivery uniform and lured Corrections Director Clements to the door and shot him.
Ebel’s vehicle, a dark-colored Cadillac, is similar to one seen leaving the murder scene in Colorado. It was the same car the 28-year-old was driving when Deputy Boyd tried to pull him over.
We haven’t been able to talk to Deputy bod a whole lot to determine why he made the stop,” Sheriff Cunningham explained. “From looking at the dashcam it was apparent to us he stopped him just for a drug interdiction. I won’t go into details why he stopped him on that drug interdiction. He [Deputy Boyd] was a drug interdiction deputy for us and we believe that’s why he made the stop.”
At the time of the Noon press conference not all of the law enforcement agencies had reviewed that dashcam video, but officials said it is definitely being used in the course of the investigation.
There will be dashcam video from other cars that will need to be reviewed since Ebel allegedly fled from the scene after shooting Deputy Boyd. Sheriff Walker said although Boyd was injured he was, “… able to talk on the radio and describe the vehicle.”
With troopers from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), Wise County Sheriff’s Office authorities and Decatur police in pursuit, Ebel reportedly continued shooting and led authorities on a chase that reached speeds over 100 miles per hour.
Ebel crashed near Highway 380 and US 287, but reportedly got out of the car and continued firing at officers. Gunfire was returned and Ebel was shot in the head.
“We’re very fortunate that no citizens were hurt. We had numerous officers that were being shot at by the suspect,” Sheriff Walker said. “One vehicle was struck on the driver’s side window. We’re very fortunate that no citizens were struck by any gunfire.”
Now investigators are turning their attention to the vehicle Ebel was driving. Sheriff Walker said forensic teams are looking for, “physical, biological and trace evidence,” in the car. He said the crime scene investigators began processing the vehicle this morning. “We have not looked at the ballistics as of yet,” Sheriff Walker told the group. “We will see what’s inside the vehicle, see if there’s anything that relates to [Colorado].”
As of Friday afternoon police said the only connection between Ebel and the deadly shooting in Colorado was the Cadillac he was driving. Officials with Colorado law enforcement said they are reviewing Ebel’s criminal and incarceration record in the state very carefully, but not definitively call him a suspect in a suspect in Corrections Director Clements murder.
Even today authorities said they had not determined who Ebel was in the area. “We have no idea, at this time, why he was in Texas.”
Investigators are asking that anyone in the public who witnesses something out of the normal, or saw the police chase or crash, please contact Wise County Sheriff’s.
Deputy Boyd remains hospitalized in Fort Worth, but is expected to make a full recovery.
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