Man shot in Wise County a possible suspect in killing of top Colorado prison official

Posted Thursday, Mar. 21, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Colorado investigators believe the man who led police on a high-speed chase and shootout Thursday, wounding a deputy in Montague County, is a known white supremacist and suspect in the shooting deaths of a Colorado prisons chief and a Denver pizza delivery driver.

The Denver Post reported that federal and state authorities, speaking on condition of anonymity, identified the man as 28-year-old Evan Spencer Ebel.

Texas law enforcement authorities, however, on Thursday were awaiting confirmation on the man’s identity.

Meanwhile, Deputy James Boyd was in serious condition Thursday night at Texas Health Harris Methodist Fort Worth, a hospital spokeswoman said.

The suspect, during the chase, led authorities into Wise County where he crashed his car into a rock-hauling truck and then was shot in the head during a firefight with officers, authorities said.

The suspect was transported to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, where Wise County Sheriff David Walker said “he was basically legally deceased.”

Walker said investigators were trying to get the suspect's fingerprints to identify him.

Boyd was shot in the chest and head shortly before 11 a.m. on U.S. 287 in Bowie, about 70 miles northwest of Fort Worth.

The deputy, who was wearing a bullet-proof vest, was able to radio for help and tell dispatchers that the suspect fled south toward Wise County, Walker said.

Texas Department of Public Safety troopers, sheriff's officers and Decatur police pursued the suspect's Cadillac, which was traveling at a high rate of speed - sometimes reaching 100 mph. As he drove the suspect fired numerous shots at the pursuing officers.

Decatur Police Chief Rex Hoskins said the suspect appeared to be a white man in his 30s. The man shot at Hoskins four times as the chief tried to set up a road block to halt him.

"He wasn't planning on being taken alive," Hoskins said.

'Nothing has been confirmed'

Officials with the El Paso County, Colo., Sheriff's Department said that they are working with the FBI and authorities in Texas to see if the suspect could have been involved in the fatal shooting of Tom Clements, executive director of the Colorado Department of Corrections. Clements was shot Tuesday night as he answered the front door of his home in Monument, Colo.

"We don't know yet exactly whether this is the guy," Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper told reporters Thursday afternoon. "There's some indication. I hope it is."

U.S. 287 runs all the way from Colorado to Bowie, where the suspect's vehicle was pulled over.

The suspect was driving a black Cadillac with Colorado license plates. Authorities in Colorado described the Cadillac as "a vehicle of interest." A vehicle that was seen near where Clements was shot was described as a late-model 2-door, similar to a 1990s Lincoln, shiny and black, according to the El Paso County Sheriff's Department.

Walker said authorities from Colorado were on their way to Texas.

"We don't have anything yet," Walker said. "Nothing has been confirmed but we are about to have a meeting about it. We don't even have the ID of the suspect officially confirmed yet."

Gunfight ensued

During the chase, bullets struck the windshield of the sheriff's department's patrol lieutenant, he said. The suspect ran a red light at the intersection of U.S. 380 and Business 380 in Decatur before crashing into a rock-hauling truck, Walker said.

"He exited the vehicle and engaged our deputies in a gunfight, at which time we returned fire," Walker said. "The suspect was shot and our deputies were not."

Walker said the deputy's wounds were not believed to be life-threatening.

Montague County Sheriff Paul Cunningham told The Bowie News that Boyd was shot three times.

"He has a very good reputation," Williams said of Boyd. "He was extremely thorough; he does his job very well."

Boyd was getting messages on his Facebook page telling him friends were praying for him.

This report includes information from The Associated Press.

Bill Hanna, (817) 390-7698

Twitter: @fwhanna

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