Since last Thursday’s shooting rampage in Montague and Wise counties, investigators have confirmed the weapon used by the 28-year-old murder suspect Evan S. Ebel was used in a murder in Monument, Colo., two days prior.
Ebel was also in possession of bomb-making materials at the time of his firefight with Wise County law enforcement according to the results of a search warrant released Tuesday.
The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office in Colorado announced the gun used by Ebel to shoot Montague County Deputy James Boyd and also used in a shootout with Wise County officers last Thursday is the same gun used to kill Tom Clements, 58, the chief director of the Colorado Department of Corrections, last Tuesday.
The findings were confirmed following an analysis of the shell casings by the Colorado Springs Metro Crime Lab.
“The confirmation goes well beyond acknowledging the same caliber and brand of ammunition being used, but rather is based on unique, and often microscopic markings left on the casings at both scenes,” Lt. Jeff Kramer wrote in a statement released by the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.
Ebel was killed following a shootout with officers at the end of a high-speed chase that ended at the intersection of U.S. 380 and Business 380 in Decatur Thursday morning. Ebel also fired at Decatur Police Chief Rex Hoskins and Wise County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Art Ferguson during the chase. Bullet fragments from Ebel’s handgun were found lodged in three vehicles used by law enforcement during the pursuit.
A court document filed Tuesday by Texas Ranger Anthony Bradford revealed a laundry list of items found in the 1991 black Cadillac driven by Ebel, including materials used to assemble a pipe bomb. He used a 9mm Smith and Wesson handgun during his shootout with deputies and Decatur police officers. In addition to the handgun, investigators found “miscellaneous bomb-making materials,” found in a black backpack and black duffel bag from the Cadillac’s trunk, along with a “document with apparent bomb making instructions.” A wireless surveillance camera was also found in the trunk.
Investigators found a Domino’s Pizza carrier bag, Domino’s pizza box, Domino’s Pizza visor and shirt. This possibly connects Ebel with the murder of Nathan Leon, 27, a part-time delivery driver for Domino’s Pizza in Denver. Leon was found murdered on Sunday, March 17.
The Denver Police Department wouldn’t go so far as to confirm Ebel killed Leon.
“We believe there is a strong connection between Tom Clements and the death of Mr. Leon,” said Sonny Jackson, spokesperson for Denver Police Department. “But this is still an ongoing investigation and by no means are we able to say we have completed our investigation.”
Jackson said investigators with Denver Police Department were in Wise County last week.
“We still have a lot of work to do,” he added. “We’re not going to rule anything out at this point.”
Leon, a father of three, was killed from gunshot wounds to the chest. He was delivering a pizza to a deserted corner in an industrial area of Denver. The order was made by pay phone. Leon never returned to work after the call. His body was found approximately 18 miles away in the town of Golden, Colo.
At 5-foot-2-inches, Ebel had an arrest record longer than he was tall. Dating back to 2003, it included assault, robbery, aggravated robbery, menacing with a weapon and assaulting a prison guard while in custody. He was allegedly a member of a white supremacist Colorado-based prison gang called the 211 Crew, also known as the Aryan Alliance.
Ebel spent the last eight years in prison and almost five of those years in solitary confinement. He was released Jan. 28 on parole after serving his entire sentence.
During his two years as director of Colorado Department of Corrections, Clements had worked hard to crack down on prison gang activity. He’d also worked to provide better treatment to inmates with psychological issues and, ironically, to limit periods of solitary confinement given to unruly inmates.
Ebel’s motives, his destination or plans before he engaged in a gun battle with Wise County law enforcement are still unknown.
Ebel’s father, Jack Ebel, a well-respected oil and gas lawyer in the Denver area, released a statement offering his condolences last Saturday.
“I am profoundly saddened by the recent events involving my son, Evan Ebel, and offer my most sincere condolences to all of those individuals and families who have suffered from his actions. I ask for privacy for me and my family during this time as we grieve for the loss of life that has occurred and for all of those affected.”