Parolee may be tied to shootout, murders of DOC chief Tom Clements and Domino's driver Nate Leon

Suspect is dead, Wise County sheriff says

DECATUR, Texas - A paroled Colorado inmate may be the one who led Texas officers on a chase before a crash and deadly shootout, a source tells the CALL7 Investigators. That case is being investigated for possible connections to the murders of Colorado's prison chief and a Domino's Pizza delivery driver.

The source identified the suspect as Evan Spencer Ebel, 28.

According to Department of Corrections records, Ebel was serving his parole in Denver. His record shows he was a defendant in cases involving the charges of burglary, robbery, trespass and assault.

In a written statement the El Paso County Sheriff's office neither confirmed nor denied the information.

"It is disappointing that any law enforcement official would speak under a clause of anonymity and reveal a suspect and describe a link which has not been investigated fully," the statement said. "Doing so undermines an active investigation and can have a negative impact on any future prosecution."

Evidence found in Texas is being investigated to determine if there is a link to the murders of Department of Corrections Chief Tom Clements and Domino's pizza delivery driver Nate Leon.

Nathan Collin Leon, 27, disappeared after being sent on a Sunday delivery run from a Denver Domino's to 50th Avenue and Forest Street in Denver. His body was found about six hours later at 151 S. Rooney Rd. in a remote area of Golden by a man flying model airplanes.

Tom Clements was killed at about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday when he answered the door at his home in the 17400 block of Colonial Park Drive in Monument, according to El Paso County Sheriff's Lt. Jeff Kramer.

The black Cadillac involved in the Texas chase, crash and shootout is similar to the description of a vehicle of interest in Clements' murder. Federal and several local sources tell CALL7 Investigators that evidence inside the car included a pizza box and a jacket. That evidence will be checked for a possible connection to Leon's murder.

Investigators trying to solve the murder of Colorado prison executive Tom Clements are leaning toward the theory he was specifically targeted, ABC News has learned, but stress they cannot completely rule out a random shooting.

"It appears at this point in time that Mr. Clements was obviously the target of this homicide," El Paso County Undersheriff Paula Presley said in an interview with ABC News.

A source familiar with the investigation told CALL7 Investigator Theresa Marchetta the interaction at the doorway lasted for a matter of minutes before Clements was shot. There also may have been a struggle, the source said.

Investigators from El Paso County, Denver Police and Golden Police are traveling to Texas for this case.

-- Texas Chase Ends In Shootout --

The clues linking the two murders came to light because of the chase in Texas.

A Montague County deputy in Bowie, Texas had pulled over a black Cadillac during a routine traffic stop around 11:20 a.m. Thursday. During the stop, the gunman shot at the deputy.

The deputy was hit twice in the chest and one grazing wound to the head. He was saved by a bullet-proof vest, said Wise County Sheriff David Walker.

The injured deputy radioed for help and officers from several departments chased the vehicle.  He was traveling at speeds of 100 mph and shooting out the window, said Decatur Police Chief Rex Hoskins.

Hoskins' vehicle and a lieutenant's vehicle were both hit by gunfire.

"I was out on 287, at a crossover, waiting for him to approach. When he came by he was winging his left arm out the window with his pistol, just shooting at every police officer he could see. I didn't think I got hit, but then found out he did hit the front tire on my vehicle," said Hoskins. "He was going so fast I never had the chance to shoot back.”

The chase ended after a crash in the City of Decatur in Wise County, Texas. The suspect collided with an 18-wheeler at the intersection of U.S. 380 and U.S. 380 Business, that is near the Wise County Sheriff's Office.

"The suspect wrecked out, jumped out and started another gun battle with deputies and the highway patrol at which time he was shot," Montague County Sheriff Paul Cunningham told ABC News reporter Clayton Sandell.

The suspect was armed with a handgun, Hoskins said.

ABC affiliate WFAA shared video from a helicopter that flew over the scene of the crash and shootout. It shows the wrecked black Cadillac that the suspect was driving. The hood of the car had been torn off and the roof partially crushed.

The video also showed the car had Colorado license plates on the front and back, but each had a different number.  The car will be examined for forensic evidence Friday morning, Sheriff Cunningham told 7NEWS reporter Marc Stewart in Texas.

The driver of the Cadillac was taken to a nearby hospital and then one in Fort Worth. Walker said the suspect was "legally deceased" but he was being kept alive so that his organs can be harvested.

"We don't have any confirmation at this time whether there was a connection between this incident and the one in Colorado," Cunningham cautioned, but later added that Colorado was involved in the investigation.

Walker reiterated that investigators from Colorado would be traveling to Wise County but said they would be looking into the Clements' "case and other homicide cases in Colorado." It was unclear what other cases he was referencing.

Walker and Hoskins said the suspect who was driving the Cadillac hasn't yet been identified. He did not have any identification on him, Walker said.

Investigators from El Paso County are traveling to Texas Thursday evening to join in the investigation. The FBI is also involved, 7NEWS confirmed.

Denver Police also said they sent a detective from Denver and one from Golden to Texas.

"We have been in contact with all the agencies involved and have sent a Denver police detective with a Golden police officer to Texas to continue the investigation," said Denver Police Department Spokesman Carlos Montoya.


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