Colorado murder suspect dies after Texas chase

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by CBS News / WFAA

khou.com

Posted on March 22, 2013 at 8:28 AM

Updated Friday, Mar 22 at 12:26 PM

DENVER -- A white supremacist parolee possibly connected to the murders of the head of Colorado's Department of Corrections and a pizza delivery man has died from wounds sustained during a shootout with police in Texas, an official said.

Tarrant County Medical Examiner's spokesman Roger Metcalf said an autopsy has begun on the man, believed to be 28-year-old Evan Spencer Ebel. His identity must still be officially confirmed through fingerprint analysis, Metcalf said.

Ebel was gravely wounded after a high-speed pursuit Thursday, in which both he and a sheriff's deputy were shot. He was pronounced brain-dead and placed on life support before being removed Friday morning, CBS station KCNC reports.

Ebel, a parolee in the Denver metro area, was a member of a white-supremacist prison gang called the 211s, a.k.a. the Brotherhood of Aryan Alliance, according to KCNC. It was founded at Colorado's Denver County Jail by Benjamin Davis in 1995.

Tom Clements, the executive director of the Colorado Department of Corrections, was shot dead Tuesday after he answered the door at his home in Monument.

The Denver Post reported Friday that Colorado officials are investigating whether Clements' murder was a hit ordered by white supremacist leaders.

The Texas chase began when Ebel's vehicle was pulled over by Montague County Sheriff's Deputy James Boyd. A source told CBS Station KTVT in Dallas-Fort Worth that as Deputy Boyd approached the vehicle, the driver started shooting.

Emergency personnel are seen at the site of a crash and shootout with police involving the driver of a black Cadillac with Colorado plates, in Decatur, Texas, Thursday, March 21, 2013.

Boyd was struck by three bullets; he was taken by air ambulance to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth, where he is listed in serious condition but is expected to recover.

Ebel then fled from the scene, with officers from the Texas Department of Public Safety, Wise County Sheriff's Office and Decatur Police Department in pursuit, in a chase reaching speeds in excess of 100 mph.

Ebel continued shooting at officers, even after crashing his older model Cadillac with Colorado plates in Decatur.

"After the suspect was struck by the 18-wheeler he exited the vehicle with a firearm and engaged our deputies in a firefight," said Wise County Sheriff David Walker. "None of the deputies were hit by any suspect shots. The suspect was hit as the deputies returned fire."

"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."

Ebel was struck in the head. KTVT reports was kept on life support for a short time for potential organ donation.

Spent shells found at the scene of the Texas shootout appeared, at first inspection, to match those found at Clements' home.

Clements is the fifth criminal justice official in the United States to be targeted since the beginning of the year, including the still-unsolved murder of a Texas prosecutor shot dead outside a courthouse in January, CBS News correspondent Mark Strassmann reports.

Texas investigators also confirmed that items found in the suspect's vehicle could be tied to the murder of a Colorado pizza delivery man. Sources close to the investigation told KCNC that a Domino's delivery shirt and a pizza box were found in the back seat of the car.

Nathan Leon, 27, had gone missing Sunday while making deliveries for Domino's Pizza; six hours later his body was found in Golden. He had been shot several times by an unknown person or persons.

Leon's family said he delivered pizzas as a way to earn extra money for his wife and his three girls.

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