DENVER - The man killed by officers during a Thursday shootout in Texas was recruited into a white supremacist gang while he was imprisoned in Colorado, a source confirms to ABC NEWS.
The suspect, Evan Ebel, 28, may also be tied to the recent murders of Domino's Pizza delivery driver Nate Leon and Department of Corrections chief Tom Clements in Colorado. The vehicle he was driving in Texas resembled the description of the "vehicle of interest" in Clements' murder and evidence inside the car includes a Domino's Pizza carrier and a uniform, according to a search warrant affidavit.
The warrant, obtained by 7NEWS, also revealed that the Hornady 9mm shell casings inside the car were the same type found at Clements' home.
A source told ABC News Ebel had joined a gang called the "211 Crew" while he was in jail. The source also said that once members leave jail, they are expected to "show revenue" and give back to the group.
The only way to leave the gang, the source said, is to die.
The Anti-Defamation League says that as of 2005 the 211 Crew had more than 300 members. The ADL said most of the gang's activity involved organized crime but also used violence to further the cause of white supremacist ideology.
The "211" moniker refers to the California penal code for robbery, the ADL explained.
"Like many racist prison gangs, members of the 211 crew not only identify with the white supremacist ideology, but are prone to violence," said Scott Levin, ADL Mountain States Regional Director, in a written statement.
Ebel's criminal record shows he was incarcerated in Colorado several times during the past decade. Friends tell ABC News that he emerged as a white supremacist during that time.
Records show Ebel was first convicted in 2003, when he pulled a gun and demanded cash from a group watching a Broncos game in a Lakewood home. Then, in Adams County during 2004 he was armed with a gun when he tried to kick in someone's front door and demand items from inside.
In 2007, during his prison sentence, Ebel punched a prison guard in the face. For that, he was sentenced to 4 years.
Friends told ABC News that Evan had the word "HOPELESS" tattooed on his back and signed letters "EVIL EVAN."
His father, Jack Ebel, testified in March 2011 before a committee of the Colorado Legislature regarding a proposal to require prisoners spend time outside solitary before leaving prison.
"He's served six years of an eight-year sentence and all but five months of the six years he's been held in solitary confinement," Jack Ebel said about his son.
Jack Ebel also told lawmakers he noticed his son's behavior change during the two times Evan was incarcerated.
"Even though he's well-read and he's a good conversationalist and gentle he started out that way, what I've seen over six years is he has become increasingly -- he has a high level of paranoia and extremely anxious, so when he gets out to visit me, and he gets out of his cell to talk to me, I mean he is so agitated that it will take an hour to an hour-and-half before we can actually talk," Jack Ebel told lawmakers.
According to Governor John Hickenlooper, solitary confinement had long been an issue of concern for Clements.
"Tom had thought deeply about it before he ever came to interview with us in his own experience in Missouri and saw how it was doomed to failure: that number of people and in many cases people who had been in administrative segregation - solitary confinement - for years would be released directly into the community, which is a very, for those individuals, really emotionally traumatic," Hickenlooper said.
Nate Leon was killed on March 17 and Tom Clements was killed on March 19.
On March 21, Ebel shot a deputy in Texas and led officers from several agencies on a chase before crashing into an 18-wheeler. He got out of the heavily damaged car and engaged officers in a gun battle until he was fatally wounded, police in Decatur, Texas said.