The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office in Colorado announced this afternoon that the gun used by Evan 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, 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,” according to 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. The Messenger also learned of evidence found inside the car Ebel was driving at the time of the shootings. Read more here.
A search warrant obtained by the Wise County Messenger from the Wise County District Clerk’s Office revealed a laundry list of items found in the 1991 black Cadillac driven by Evan S. Ebel, 28, of Colorado, during his wild shoot-out with law enforcement in Wise County last Thursday morning. Ebel used a 9mm Smith and Wesson handgun during his firefight with Wise County sheriff’s deputies and Decatur police officers. In addition to the handgun, investigators found more weapons and ammunition in the vehicle along with narcotics, cell phones, computers, thumb drives, memory cards and several forms of correspondence with an unknown or unidentified suspect who might be involved in the case. The most damning items found include a Domino’s Pizza carrier bag and a Domino’s Pizza jacket. 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. Also, Hornady 9mm shell casing recovered from the scene of the shootout in Wise County are the same caliber and brand found at the home of Tom Clements Tuesday night. Clements, 58, director of Colorado Department of Corrections, was gunned down in front of his home in Monument, Colo., two days before Ebel started a mobile shooting rampage through Montague and Wise County. Ebel possibly used the pizza delivery garb as a disguise to approach the home of Clements. The Cadillac had two different kinds of Colorado license plates on it. The car itself was not registered to Ebel, but to an individual living in Aurora, Colo.
A couple in Boonsville lost their belongings, including their dog Blue and rabbit Roger, in a fire that scorched their single-wide mobile home Friday night.
Reka Diaz and Tony Lane were in Decatur buying garden seeds and supplies for home improvement projects when they received a call around 7:30 from their landlord notifying them that their home on Private Road 3508, southwest of Bridgeport, was on fire.
The Boonsville-Balsora Volunteer Fire Department, which was assisted by Bridgeport, Lake Bridgeport and Runaway Bay agencies, responded within minutes. But when the first units checked on scene, the home was engulfed in flames.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Red Cross was dispatched to assist the couple, who lost everything. Diaz wears a size 12 pants, large in tops and 7 in shoes. Lane wears a size 40 in pants, extra large in shirts and 10 in shoes. To assist them, call 817-312-2704.
The suspect who shot one deputy three times in Montague County and fired at multiple Wise County law enforcement officers during a high-speed chase that ended in Decatur was confirmed dead by Wise County Sheriff David Walker during a noon press conference Friday. The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office, working with FBI and local law enforcement confirmed the suspect to be Evan S. Ebel, 28, a parolee out of Colorado. Montague County Sheriff’s Office deputy James Boyd, who sustained three gunshots — two to the chest and one to the head — after he initially tried to stop Ebel near Bowie, is listed in stable condition at Harris Methodist in Fort Worth. Ebel then led officers on a wild chase on U.S. 287 before he crashed his vehicle into an 18-wheeler in Decatur. He then leaped from his fiery vehicle and opened fire on deputies and Decatur police. He was shot in the head when law enforcement returned fire. Investigators with El Paso County Sheriff’s Office in Colorado and FBI agents from Colorado are in Wise County looking into a possible connection between Ebel and the murder of two men in Colorado, Tom Clements, 58, the director of the Colorado Department of Corrections, and Nate Leon, a 27-year-old part-time pizza delivery driver. Clements was murdered in front of his home Tuesday night. Leon was found murdered Sunday in Denver. Steve Johnson, assistant director of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation office, said at the press conference that the only connection between the Colorado slayings and the shootout in Wise County is that Ebel was driving a black Cadillac with Colorado plates. That vehicle matched the description a witness saw in the neighborhood at the time Clements was shot and killed.
The shooting suspect involved in a high-speed chase and firefight that ended in Decatur this morning has possibly been identified. An unnamed federal source informed The Denver Post that the suspect is Evan Spencer Ebel, 28, a former Colorado parolee and alleged member of a white supremacists prison gang. However, Decatur Police Chief Rex Hoskins advised they are still awaiting positive identification on the suspect. “As of now, no one here has been contacted about his identity,” Hoskins said. “We are still waiting for the FBI to verify the identity of the suspect using fingerprints.” The suspect crashed into an 18-wheeler at the intersection of U.S. 380 and Business 380 West in Decatur at the end of an almost 40-mile chase that began with the suspect shooting a Montague County deputy three times near Bowie at 11 a.m. today. The suspect’s Cadillac burst into flames from the impact with the rock hauler. The suspect rolled out of his car and opened fire on deputies and police. They returned fire and put the suspect down. He was flown to John Peter Smith Hospital with critical injuries after being shot in the head and is being kept alive with life support. The suspect also fired at a Wise County Sheriff’s Office patrol lieutenant and Hoskins during the chase.
Evan Spencer Ebel. Mugshot obtained from Denver Post.
Wise County Sheriff David Walker confirmed in a press conference this afternoon that the suspect from today’s high-speed pursuit and subsequent firefight has all but died from the wounds he sustained in the shootout. “I’ve been told he is basically deceased,” Walker said. “But he’s being kept alive on life support machines for organ donating purposes.” Walker also addressed the possible connection between the suspect and the murder last night of Tom Clements in Colorado. Investigators from Colorado are en route to Texas to look into the possible connection. The identity of suspect is still unknown. He is described as a white male possibly in his 30s. Hear these details and much more in the following video:
The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office in Colorado has received multiple reports indicating the suspect in today’s high-speed pursuit and shootout in Wise County might be connected with a murder that occurred in Colorado last night. At about 9 p.m. Tuesday, Tom Clements, 58, was shot and killed in front of his home in Monument, Colo. Clements was the director of Colorado’s Department of Corrections. After the murder, a witness reported seeing a dark-colored vehicle matching the description of the black Cadillac that crashed and burned in Decatur late this morning at the end of a high-speed pursuit that ended with the suspect being shot. The suspect, who has not yet been identified, was described as a white male in his 30s. The Cadillac had two different sets of Colorado plates on the vehicle. The suspect also shot and injured a Montague County deputy and fired at multiple law enforcement officers in Wise County before deputies shot and critically injured him after the wreck. The suspect was in critical condition and flown to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. The deputy from Montague county was listed in stable condition this afternoon.
A high speed pursuit that started with a deputy getting shot in Montague County ended with law enforcement and the suspect exchanging gunfire at a busy highway intersection in Decatur.
The chase began at the intersection of U.S. 287 and and Highway 59 in Bowie. Montague County Sheriff Deputy James Boyd stopped the suspect, who was driving a black Cadillac with Colorado plates, on a routine traffic stop. During the stop, the suspect opened fire on the deputy, hitting him twice in the chest and once in the head. Montague County District Attorney Paige Williams said the deputy was in stable condition as of this afternoon. Wise County Sheriff David Walker said the bullet proof vest Boyd was wearing most likely saved his life.Boyd received a helicopter transport to a Fort Worth hospital for his injuries.
Messenger video by: Joe Duty
The suspect then started the high speed pursuit through heavy traffic from Montague County that ended with a fiery crash and gunfire in Decatur.
With a long trail of patrol vehicles, the southbound Cadillac blazed into Decatur on U.S. 287 at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour or faster. He swerved in and out of local traffic. At times he pointed his gun out the window and fired at law enforcement officers. White smoke poured from the back of the Cadillac as dozens of blue and red lights raced in pursuit.
Decatur Police Chief Rex Hoskins said he was shot at four times while waiting for the suspect to enter Decatur.
“He shot at me at least four times,” Hoskins said. “It looks like he hit my front tire.”
Hoskins said while in Decatur the suspect stuck his arm out of his moving vehicle and used some kind of automatic or semi-automatic weapon, firing approximately 20 to 30 rounds during his rampage.
Wise County Sheriff’s Patrol Lt. Art Ferguson also had shots fired at him. Bullets punctured his front window, with bullets narrowly missing his head. Shards of glass scratched his face.
After entering Decatur, the suspect turned onto U.S. 380 Business at the McDonald’s. He sped along the business route west until he crashed into an eastbound rock hauler at the beneath the traffic light at the intersection of U.S. 380.
“We think he was going to head east of U.S. 380, but he crashed into an 18-wheeler,” Hoskins said. “At that time he leaped out of his vehicle and opened fire on deputies. They returned fire and the suspect hit the ground.”
The suspect has only been described as a white male in his 30s. Investigators did not find any identification on the suspect. He was transported to John Peter Smith Hospital and was in critical condition.
If the suspect survives, he’ll be facing a litany of potential charges including capital attempted murder of a law enforcement officer.
Anyone with any information on the wreck or who witnessed the suspect fire at law enforcement during the pursuit is encouraged to call Wise County Sheriff’s Office at (940) 627-5971 or Decatur Police Department at (940) 627-1500.
The eastbound lane of U.S. 380 at the intersection will remain closed for several hours as the investigators continue to scour the scene. Traffic is being re-routed onto Business 380, through Rook Ramsey and back on U.S. 380.
A suspect, whose identity has not yet been released, reportedly shot a Montague County deputy in Bowie and then fled the scene on U.S. 287 South. Local law enforcement attempted to stop the suspect as he entered Wise County. The man fired multiple shots at state troopers, Wise County sheriff’s deputies and Decatur police officers while they were in pursuit. His car caught fire after wrecking at the intersection of U.S. 380 and Business 380 near the Wise County Sheriff’s Office. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford
Messenger video by: Joe Duty
Decatur firemen and Wise County EMS carry the suspect to a waiting ambulance. He was transported to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur and later flown to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford
After the suspect crashed, he began shooting at officers again. A Wise County sheriff’s deputy returned fire, shooting the suspect in the head. Messenger photo by Joe Duty
The intersection of U.S. 380 and Business 380 was temporarily shut down and declared a crime scene. Traffic is being allowed through as of 12:30 p.m., but it’s slow-moving. Messenger photo by Joe Duty
Officers investigate the scene in Bowie Thursday morning where a Montague County Sheriff’s Deputy was shot by a suspect who later wrecked and was shot in Decatur. The Montague County shooting happened on U.S. 81/287 near the exit for Texas 59. The deputy was listed in stable condition Thursday afternoon after being shot three times. Photo by Barbara Green/Bowie News.
Montague County Deputy James Boyd, shown here in a photo from 2011. Photo provided by Barbara Green/Bowie News.
The suspect firing at officers in a police chase just 30 minutes ago was shot in the head and transported to the hospital via ground ambulance . A state trooper was also on board.
According to the police scanner, the suspect, driving a black Lincoln Navigator, assaulted a deputy in Montague County and fled on U.S. 287 South. Local law enforcement attempted to stop the suspect, and he fired multiple shots at state troopers, Wise County sheriff’s deputies and Decatur police officers while they were in pursuit.
The vehicles wrecked at the intersection of U.S. 380 and Business 380 and gun shots were fired after the wreck. At least one vehicle caught fire. The eastbound lanes of U.S. 380 are closed, and the area has been designated as a crime scene.
A Lincoln Navigator wrecked at the intersection of Business 380 and U.S. 380 near the Sheriff’s Office after being pursued by officers in a high-speed chase on U.S. 287. According to the police scanner, the suspect assaulted a deputy in Montague County and fled on U.S. 287 South. He fired multiple shots at state troopers, Wise County sheriff’s deputies and Decatur police officers while they were in pursuit. At least one vehicle caught fire and more gun shots were exchanged after the wreck. A dispatcher said the “suspect is down.” The intersection has been closed and designated as a crime scene.
A fire burned up multiple rooms and caused heavy smoke damage throughout a single-story brick home in Boyd tonight. Members of the Boyd Volunteer Fire Department arrived just minutes after the fire was reported at 9:15. They arrived to see flames pouring out of the back of the house and black smoke billowing into a dark sky. They extinguished the fire quickly, saving the structure, but smoke had already damaged most or all of the interior. Rhome Volunteer Fire Department, Boyd Police and Wise County Medics all provided assistance at the scene. The home owner, Emily Palmer, had left the house to pick up several items from a nearby grocery store. When she returned black smoke gushed from the front door when she opened it. She lives there with her husband Hunter and their one- and four-year-old daughters. No one was injured in the fire. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but it might have started in the kitchen stove.
Three 18-wheelers were totaled early Saturday morning after running off a rain-slick road at U.S. 287 and U.S. 380 in Decatur. Remarkably, no one was seriously injured.
Decatur police officer Keith Hilton said John Craig, 56, of Enid, Okla., was driving a Sun Coast Resources tank truck northbound on U.S. 287 about 6 a.m. He lost control on the wet roadway at U.S. 380, hitting the concrete barrier separating the north- and southbound lanes of 287. The truck jackknifed and came to rest on the east side of the highway.
Hilton said Craig suffered “moderate injuries” and was transported to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.
Immediately after the first truck jackknifed, two more 18-wheelers traveling northbound swerved to miss the wreckage and ran off the east side of U.S. 287. They barreled down the embankment and ran through a fence, into the Texas Department of Transportation yard below the highway.
One was a rock truck driven by Cervando Laura, 44, of Fort Worth, and the other was a Swift truck driven by Michael Bingham, 61.
Officer Hilton said Laura was not injured, and Bingham was transported to WRHS with minor injuries.
“The crazy thing is they never touched each other,” Hilton said. “All three totaled and none of them ever touched.”
Both northbound lanes and one southbound lane of 287 were shut down for more than an hour. All lanes were re-opened by 7:15 a.m.
Three 18-wheelers were involved in an accident at U.S. 287 and U.S. 380 just after 6 a.m. Saturday morning. Two of the trucks ended up in a Texas Department of Transportation lot below 287, and one jackknifed on the highway. Only minor injuries were reported. More information will be posted as it’s available.
A woman suffered severe head injuries in a four-vehicle accident Friday morning at Farm Road 920 and Texas 199 in the southwest corner of Wise County.
Kay Lackey, 62, of Poolville was driving a van westbound on 199 about 10:40 a.m. when she attempted to turn left onto FM 920. Department of Public Safety Trooper Mitchell Collins said Lackey turned in front of and collided with a Buick Enclave traveling eastbound on 199. The Enclave was driven by Edwina Norris, 41, of North Richland Hills.
After the initial collision, the van spun into an 18-wheeler driven by William Mullally, 57, of Jacksboro, and the Enclave spun into another 18-wheeler driven by Schuyler Long, 25, of Euless. Neither truck driver was injured.
The van came to rest in the median of 199, and Lackey suffered severe head injuries. She was transported via helicopter to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth.
Norris’ Enclave ended up in the triangular median separating 199 and 920. She was taken by ground ambulance to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Azle.
Texas 199 was shut down for half an hour so the helicopter could land.
A van collided with a small sports utility vehicle this morning at the intersection of Texas 199 and Farm Road 920 in southwest Wise County resulting in serious injuries for one of the drivers involved. The female driver in the van suffered a severe head injury and was flown by helicopter from the scene to a hospital in Fort Worth.
Messenger photo by Joe Duty
The driver of the other vehicle was transported by ground to a hospital in Azle. The wreck occurred at 10:45 a.m. Traffic was shut down in both direction for about half an hour so the helicopter could land in the middle of the roadway. More information will be posted when available.
A 70-year-old man from Rhome was arrested by Wise County Sheriff’s officers Friday for multiple counts of indecency with a child by sexual contact. Hollis “Butch” Belcher, 70, allegedly molested a 10-year-old girl Feb. 26 and 27 at his home located in the 500 block of Private Road 4732 in Rhome. Belcher was a close friend of several people in his neighborhood. Parents in the neighborhood allowed their children to play at his residence and sometimes spend the night, according to an arrest warrant affidavit obtained by an open records request. After one of the sleepovers, the mother of the victim observed several red marks, thought to be hickies, on her young daughter’s neck. A five-year-old girl and and 11-year-old girl were also at the residence when the alleged incidents occurred. The sheriff’s office was notified, and through interviews with witnesses and the alleged victim, an investigator determined sexual contact had occurred. A forensic expert with the Children’s Advocacy Care Center in Denton assisted with the investigation. Belcher was arrested Friday at his home without incident and placed under $35,000 bond for each count. He posted bail the following day. The case and still under investigation and any more possible victims should contact the sheriff’s office at (940) 627-5971.
A Cessna 172 single-engine plane made an emergency landing on U.S. 380 in Bridgeport Sunday afternoon around 1:45. Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Lloyd McKinney said pilot Christopher Brawley of Haslet began experiencing engine problems as he was flying east from Bridgeport. He initially tried to fly to the Decatur Municipal Airport before deciding to turn around and head to the Bridgeport Municipal Airport. Brawley sent out a “mayday” call when it became apparent that the plane would not make it to the airport. Bridgeport Police Chief Randy Singleton was driving up to the scene as Brawley brought the plane down on U.S. 380 between 16th Street and Overland Drive. “It looked like a perfect runway landing, except it was on a U.S. highway,” Singleton said. Brawley taxied into a gravel parking lot. No one was injured.
A two-vehicle accident shortly after noon Friday sent four people to the hospital. Their names and ages as well as extent of their injuries were unavailable at the scene. Department of Public Safety Trooper Woody Gosser said an 18-wheeler cab without a trailer was northbound on Farm Road 1655 about a mile north of U.S. 380 when the driver apparently cut in front of a southbound passenger car while turning into a driveway. The four people in the car were transported to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur by two ambulances. The accident had the road shut down for nearly an hour.