Ballistics confirm same handgun used in Texas, Colorado shootings

Posted Monday, Mar. 25, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Ballistics tests released Monday confirmed that the 9 mm Smith & Wesson handgun used by Evan Spencer Ebel in a shootout Thursday with authorities in Decatur was the same gun that killed the chief of Colorado prisons at his house on March 19.

"The confirmation goes well beyond acknowledging the same caliber and brand of ammunition being used, but rather is based on unique, and often microscopic markings left on the casings at both scenes," the El Paso County, Colo., sheriff's department said in a news release.

Tom Clements, executive director of the Colorado Department of Corrections, was fatally shot when he answered the front door of his home in Monument, Colo.

Monument is in El Paso County, north of the county seat Colorado Springs. That city's crime lab analyzed shell casings found at both scenes.

"Investigators are actively pursuing all pieces of information and angles to determine whether Ebel acted alone in the shooting of Tom Clements or if others were involved," the statement said. "There are no answers at this time surrounding motive and gaining these answers could be a lengthy process for investigators."

On Thursday, Ebel, 28, driving a black Cadillac, was traveling south on U.S. 287 near Bowie when Montague County Sheriff's Deputy James Boyd pulled him over. Ebel shot Boyd three times, striking him twice in the chest and grazing his head with another bullet. Boyd remained hospitalized Monday at Texas Health Harris Hospital Fort Worth.

Montague County Sheriff Paul Cunningham said Monday that Boyd, 27, "is up and moving around and talking" but still faces a long recuperation. He will be transferred to a rehab facility when he is released from the hospital.

Investigators have reviewed dash-cam video of his encounter with Ebel but have not questioned Boyd in detail about the shooting.

"We haven't pushed that yet," Cunningham said.

No Texas connection

Ebel was pursued into Decatur where he hit a rock hauler and had a gunfight with law officers. He was pronounced dead later at a Fort Worth hospital.

Almost immediately, he emerged as a suspect in the shooting of Clements and a Denver pizza deliveryman.

Wise County Sheriff David Walker said Monday that authorities are no closer to finding any reason for Ebel to head to Texas after the Colorado shootings.

"Honestly, he may have just been fleeing," Walker said.

"There is some evidence in the car that doesn't lead to Texas," said Walker. He declined to give further details about what was found.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms performed ballistics tests on Ebel's handgun Friday, Walker said, and shipped evidence to Colorado.

Colorado officials have said Ebel was a member of the 211 Crew, a white supremacist prison gang in Colorado.

Ebel is also a suspect in the March 17 slaying of Denver pizza deliveryman Nathan Leon. A Domino's pizza carrier and a Domino's shirt or jacket were found in the trunk of the Cadillac in Decatur.

Authorities have speculated that Ebel posed as a pizza deliveryman to get Clements to open the door of his home.

Bill Hanna, 817-390-7698

Twitter: @fwhanna

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