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Autopsy shows bullet lodged in Ebel’s skull

By Brandon Evans | Published Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A tattoo inscribed along his abdomen said it all after Evan S. Ebel decided to engage local law enforcement in a gun battle last March.

It read, “Hopeless.”

The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office released the autopsy report this week on the 28-year-old from Colorado. One bullet, fired by a Wise County Sheriff’s deputy from a .357 caliber handgun, punctured the middle of Ebel’s forehead and buried itself deep in his brain.

His path of mayhem through Montague and Wise County ended in Decatur with a single shot.

Ebel, a suspect in two Colorado killings, was shot and killed by Wise County sheriff’s deputies on U.S. 380 in the shadow of the sheriff’s office after a wild and bloody chase that began when he shot Montague County sheriff’s deputy James Boyd during a routine traffic stop near Bowie.

Ebel was on the run after allegedly killing Denver pizza delivery driver Nathan Leon on March 17 and Colorado state prisons chief Tom Clements two days later.

The son of a prominent Denver attorney, Ebel had spent most of his adult life as an inmate in the Colorado prison system. He’d been arrested numerous times for theft, robbery and assault, and his violent behavior behind bars landed him in solitary confinement several times.

He was a member of a white supremacist prison gang – a fact his tattoos confirm. He had a swastika on his chest, and the word “white” ran down his left arm and “pride” down his right.

Ebel engaged in a rolling gun battle with state troopers, sheriff’s deputies and Decatur police officers as he sped south into Decatur on U.S. 287. He hit the windshield of one patrol unit and the front bumper of another, firing at least 20 rounds from a 9mm Smith & Wesson handgun.

The chase ended when Ebel’s stolen 1991 Cadillac DeVille smashed into a rock hauler at the intersection of U.S. 380 and U.S. 380 Business West. He rolled from the wreckage and immediately fired more shots at deputies, who returned fire, hitting him once with the fatal shot.

Despite crashing into a moving rock hauler, the autopsy report shows the gunshot wound to the head as Ebel’s only injury, aside from a few scratches. He was transported to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth where he was pronounced dead at 5:20 p.m. after being shot at 11:23 a.m.

The autopsy also found the presence of benzodiazepines, a sedative prescribed for anxiety, depression and alcoholism.

Bomb-making material was found in the trunk of Ebel’s car, but his final plans and destination remain a mystery to investigators.

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