Skip to main content

FBI seeks possible links in Texas, Colorado killings

By Jim Spellman, Ed Lavandera and Chelsea J. Carter, CNN
updated 12:00 PM EDT, Sat March 23, 2013
Evan Ebel, a former Colorado prison inmate and a former member of a white supremacist group, is suspected of killing Colorado prison chief Tom Clements. Ebel was killed March 21, 2013, in north Texas after a battle with authorities that left a sheriff's deputy wounded. Evan Ebel, a former Colorado prison inmate and a former member of a white supremacist group, is suspected of killing Colorado prison chief Tom Clements. Ebel was killed March 21, 2013, in north Texas after a battle with authorities that left a sheriff's deputy wounded.
HIDE CAPTION
Texas car chase tied to Colorado shooting
Texas car chase tied to Colorado shooting
Texas car chase tied to Colorado shooting
Texas car chase tied to Colorado shooting
Texas car chase tied to Colorado shooting
Texas car chase tied to Colorado shooting
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Authorities are working to see if suspect is linked to the killing of Colorado's prison chief
  • FBI looking for possible evidence linking him to the January slaying of a Texas prosecutor
  • Suspect Evan Spencer Ebel, 28, was fatally shot in the head after a car chase in Texas

Colorado Springs (CNN) -- Days after he led police in a wild car chase that ended in a hail of gunfire, authorities are investigating the driver's links to two Colorado killings. And whether he has ties to a third shooting, in Texas, earlier this year.

Suspect Evan Spencer Ebel, 28, was fatally shot in the head Thursday after he opened fire on the deputies chasing him in in Montague County, Texas.

Investigators have found evidence linking him to the slaying of a Colorado prison chief and a pizza delivery driver this week.

And the FBI is looking for possible evidence linking the January slaying of Kaufman County prosecutor Mark Hasse to Tuesday's killing of Colorado prison chief Tom Clements at a Denver suburb.

A bullet hole is visible on the door frame of a patrol car involved in a shootout in Texas.  A bullet hole is visible on the door frame of a patrol car involved in a shootout in Texas.
A bullet hole is visible on the door frame of a patrol car involved in a shootout in Texas.A bullet hole is visible on the door frame of a patrol car involved in a shootout in Texas.
Shell casings provide clues to homicide
Neighbor: Colorado suspect always angry
Suspect had ties to '211' prison gang

"This is part of routine investigative work when two crimes occur under somewhat similar circumstances," the Kaufman County Sheriffs Office said in a statement Friday. " If any link is found, or a possible link is disproven, that information will be released at the appropriate time."

In an affidavit, Texas authorities detailed what they believe links him to the prison chief's killing.

Black Cadillac

Of key focus in the affidavit is a 1991 black Cadillac authorities say the suspect was driving in a wild, high-speed chase Thursday. He opened fire on sheriff's deputies before slamming into an 18-wheeler, climbing out of the wreckage and opening fire again.

Witnesses reported a similar vehicle -- a black, boxy car with Colorado license plates -- near the prison chief's house the day he was killed.

Among the links in the cases, according to the affidavit, are shell casings from a 9mm handgun found at Clements house. They are the same brand and caliber used in the shooting of James Boyd, a Wise County, Texas, sheriff's deputy who tried to pull over the suspect.

Pizza box carrier

Boyd, who had on a bullet-proof vest, managed to call for help and tell law enforcement which way Ebel was driving. The deputy remains hospitalized at a Dallas-Fort Worth area hospital.

During the investigation into the shooting, authorities found a Domino's Pizza box carrier and a uniform jacket in the trunk of the Cadillac, prompting Denver authorities to go to Texas to examine the car.

Video: Pizza deliveryman remembered

'Strong connection'

They are investigating the killing of Nathan Collin Leon, 27, a Domino's Pizza deliveryman in Denver. Leon disappeared from work Sunday and was found dead in the Denver suburb of Golden.

Denver investigators said there is a "strong connection" between Leon and Clements killings, but have said little about a possible motive.

Did Ebel kill a pizza deliveryman to get a hold of his uniform as part of an effort to disguise himself? Did he target Clements because of the prison chief's crackdown on white supremacist gangs in prison? Was he part of a wider conspiracy to kill Clements? Or was it something else?

Investigators looking into Clements' killing have told reporters they are considering numerous angles.

One is that Ebel, a former member of the 211s -- a white-supremacist prison gang -- might have conspired with other inmates to kill Clements, the Colorado, sheriff's department said.

Clements earned widespread recognition for prison reforms and crackdown on prison gangs, including the 211s.

Citing media coverage of the shooting and its possible connection with the the 211s, authorities locked down Colorado's prisons on Friday.

History of violence

Ebel lengthy prison record dates to his teen years, including a 2003 charge for felony armed robbery after he brandished a gun and threatened to kill a man unless he handed over his wallet, court documents show. He was 18 at the time.

He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years in prison, serving just over a year.

Just months after his release, he was arrested again. This time for felony menacing, robbery and assault. He pleaded guilty to those charges in 2005 and was sentenced to another three years in prison.

In 2006, while in prison, Ebel was charged with assaulting a detention officer, records show. He pleaded guilty and received an additional four years on his sentence.

Ebel served his entire sentence and was given mandatory parole on January 28, 2013, according to the state Department of Corrections.

CNN's Jim Spellman reported from Colorado and Ed Lavandera from Texas, and Chelsea J. Carter reported and wrote from Atlanta. CNN's Ashley Fantz and Drew Griffin contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 9:54 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
A decade on from devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the Red Cross' Matthias Schmale says that the lessons learned have made us safer.
updated 7:24 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
As soon as word broke that "The Interview" will hit some theaters, celebrations erupted across social media -- including from the stars of the film.
updated 1:44 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
Did a rogue hacker -- or the U.S. government -- cut the cord for the regime's Internet?
updated 8:06 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
Monaco's newborn royals, Princess Gabriella and Crown Prince Jacques Honore Rainier, posed for their first official photos with their parents.
updated 12:06 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
Tim Berners-Lee, the man credited with inventing the world wide web, gives a speech on April 18, 2012 in Lyon, central France, during the World Wide Web 2012 international conference on April 18, 2012 in Lyon.
What's next for the Internet? Acclaimed scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee shares his insights.
updated 3:22 AM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
The United States and North Korea have long been locked in a bitter cycle of escalating and deescalating tensions. But the current cyber conflict may be especially hard to predict.
updated 4:00 PM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
A chilling video shows Boko Haram executing dozens of non-Muslims.
updated 6:34 AM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
New planes, new flight tests ... but will we get cheaper airfares?
updated 12:46 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
The killing of two cops could not have happened at a worse time for a city embroiled in a public battle over police-community relations, Errol Louis says.
updated 9:51 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it has never looked better.
updated 11:21 AM EST, Sat December 20, 2014
Unicef has warned that more than 1.7 million children in conflict-torn areas of eastern Ukraine face an "extremely serious" situation.
updated 12:01 PM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT