Colorado officials say a gun used in a shootout between Texas sheriff's deputies and a paroled felon Thursday is the same weapon used to kill the head of the Colorado's Department of Corrections two days earlier.
The El Paso County [Colo.] Sheriff's Department has confirmed that the same 9mm Smith & Wesson handgun was used in both incidents, according to The Denver Post. A Colorado parolee, Evan Ebel, shot a sheriff's deputy who had pulled him over about 70 miles north of Fort Worth, Texas. He then led police on a high-speed chase until crashing his Cadillac into a tractor trailer. Ebel got out of the car and continued shooting at officers until he was hit. The 28-year-old was taken to the hospital and later died. The sheriff's deputy survived.
That weapon also was used to kill Colorado corrections chief Tom Clements, who was shot when he answered the front door at his home in the town of Monument. The Post adds that Ebel has been linked to a third death, that of pizza delivery man Nathan Leon, who was killed earlier. The Associated Press reports that investigators are looking at whether Leon's uniform was used as a ruse to get Clements to open his door.
The AP notes that "authorities don't know yet whether Ebel is the person who shot Clements, whether he acted alone and what motivated the slaying of a corrections' chief admired by prisoner advocates and prison guards alike. Authorities warned that could take some time."
While in prison, Ebel reportedly belonged to a white supremacist group known as the prison gang called the 211 Crew.