Criminal Justice

Did man killed in Texas gunbattle have anything to do with slaying of Colo. prisons chief?

Authorities in Colorado and Texas say they are investigating whether a suspect killed after a high-speed chase, crash and shootout in Texas on Thursday has any connection to the slaying of the Colorado prisons superintendent at home earlier this week.

The suspect, Evan Spencer Ebel, 28, was driving a black Cadillac with Colorado plates when he was pulled over in a routine traffic stop, sparking gun battles with police in two different counties, according to ABC News, the Denver Post and the Star-Telegram. Another ABC News article provides additional details. CBS News reports that Ebel has died from his wounds and an autopsy has begun.

A similar vehicle was seen near the Monument home of Tom Clements before he was shot to death as he answered the doorbell, and authorities are looking into both a possible connection to his slaying and a possible connection to the murder on Sunday of a pizza deliveryman in Denver. Fingerprints, firearms and a Domino’s pizza delivery jacket found in the Cadillac are among the potential evidence that could link Ebel to the crimes, reports ABC News.

An Associated Press article just updated with a breaking news report says Denver police at this point believe Ebel is the suspect they are seeking in the slaying of the pizza deliveryman, Nathan Leon, although that investigation is continuing.

A paroled Colorado prison inmate and white supremacist gang member, Ebel had spent most of his adult life in prison. However, “(h)e was a young man who had real promise as a human being,” his former Colorado defense lawyer, Scott Robinson, told the Denver Post, describing the reports of a possible connection between Ebel and the slaying of Clements as “unimaginably terrible.”

Meanwhile, the Denver Channel reports that authorities are also trying to find out if there is any connection between Clements’ slaying and an ad he apparently posted on Craigslist looking to sell a bicycle for $1,200.

Updated at 11:01 a.m. to report Ebel’s death from his wounds.

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