An alleged white supremacist shot in the head after a car chase and gun battle with police in Texas may be linked to the murder of Colorado prison chief Tom Clements, sources tell CBS Denver affiliate KCNC.
Parolee Evan Ebel is being investigated for that killing, sources tell CBS Denver affiliate KCNC. The 28-year-old Denver man is being kept alive on life support and is not expected to survive.
KCNC's Rick Sallinger also reports that Ebel has been identified as a member of the white supremacist prison gang known as the "211s," a.k.a. the Brotherhood of Aryan Alliance.
The chase began when Texas officers in Montague County tried to pull over a known drug suspect and were fired on by someone inside the black Cadiliac.
The Montague Sheriff's office said James Boyd, the deputy who first approached the vehicle, was shot, but Boyd is expected to make a full recovery.
A chase spanning two counties ensued. Eventually, the suspect crashed the Cadillac into an 18 wheeler near Decatur, Texas. After the crash, he emerged from the wreck and opened fired on police. Deputies returned fire, and he was shot in the head, authorities say.
"He didn't plan on being taken alive," said Decatur Police Chief Rex Hoskins, according to KCNC. "It didn't look like he wanted to be caught or taken alive."
Clements, the executive director of the Colorado Department of Corrections, was killed Tuesday night when he answered the door at his home in Monument, Colo. Texas authorities are checking whether the black Cadillac with Colorado plates in the car chase was the same vehicle spotted near Clements' home the night he was killed.
Ebel is also being investigated in Sunday's shooting death of a Denver Domino's pizza delivery man, Nathan Leon.
The "211s" gang was founded in 1995 by habitual criminal Benjamin Davis at Colorado's Denver County Jail.
Clements is the fifth criminal justice official in the United States to be targeted since the beginning of the year, including the still unsolved murder of a Texas prosecutor shot dead outside a courthouse in January, CBS News correspondent Mark Strassmann reports.
Glenn McGovern, an investigator with the District Attorney's Office in Santa Clara County, Calif., found that there were 35 such attacks or attempted attacks between 2010 and 2012. That's nearly as many as all the attacks on public officials over the prior nine years. The primary motive, McGovern told Strassmann, appears to be revenge.
"It's very worrisome," McGovern said. "No government agency besides maybe the Secret Service provides 24-hour protection. We can't do that."