On Thursday, police exchanged fire with Evan Spencer Ebel, a 28-year-old member of a white-supremacist prison gang and a parolee in the Denver metropolitan area. According to The Denver Post, Ebel might have been ordered to place a hit on Colorado Department of Corrections chief Tom Clements, who was murdered on Tuesday night. The case of Clements's murder so far is peppered with so many instances of "may" and "might be", because of the lack of clues surrounding his death—since following this story, odd minutiae like sex slave letters and a speed-walker of interest have been revealed.
But what has investigators upset and anyone interested in the case humming is that it sounds like Ebel could be gunman authorities have been looking for: he was driving a similar car to the one's authorities had mentioned, he has a prison history in Colorado, he was involved with a white supremacist prison gang, and had no qualms firing on officers and leading them on a 100mph chase on Thursday. And there's the fact that a team Colorado investigators have traveled to Texas to examine Ebel's cadillac. The Denver Post's anonymous sources have the scoop on Ebel:
The suspect was identified as Evan Spencer Ebel, 28, a parolee in metro Denver, according to federal and state officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Ebel was identified as a member of a white-supremacist prison gang known as the 211s.
Ebel has a criminal record dating to 2003 that includes convictions on robbery, menacing and weapons charges. In 2006, he was charged with assault on a correctional officer
The 211s, according to the AP, are a Colorado prison gang with over 300 members and were "recruiting killers" in 2009, and The Post has a rundown of their long list of high-profile crimes. The Post's source added that Ebel is be the type of person connected to someone on the inside, who could have ordered a hit:
The source said a gang leader in prison, called a "shot caller," could order a member to kill someone. Shortly after Clements' slaying Tuesday night, Colorado placed all 20 of its prisons on modified lock-down.
And perhaps another sign that Ebel is involved is that the El Paso County Sheriff's Office in Colorado was very upset with the leaking of Ebel's name. They called it "disappointing" and said it "undermines an active investigation and can have a negative impact on any future prosecution," reports CNN—police officials have been very protective over details in the investigation and trying to keep their findings under wraps, with Governor Hickenlooper simply stating that Clements's murder was "an act of intimidation."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.