Evan Spencer Ebel, the 28-year-old who was shot dead by police after a wild high-speed chase and shootout in Texas, is a suspect in the murder of Tom Clements, the head of Colorado’s Department of Corrections who was gunned down at his home on March 19.
He’s also the official suspect in another Colorado murder and has a lengthy rap sheet.
Here’s what you should know about him.
1. He Died in a Shootout After a Wild Chase in Texas
2. He’s a Suspect in the High-Profile Murder of Tom Clements
The black 1991 Cadillac DeVille Ebel was driving before his death, which had mismatched Colorado plates, matches the description of a vehicle seen fleeing the area of Clements’ home in Colorado, where the head of Colorado’s Department of Corrections was gunned down after answering the doorbell. Police have yet to confirm him as an official suspect, but bullet casings found at the scenes of the murder and shootout are the same brand and caliber.
3. He’s the Primary Suspect in the Murder of a Pizza Man
Nate Leon, a 27-year-old pizza delivery driver from Commerce City, Colorado was shot and killed while out on a job. Leon’s body was found on Sunday night, March 17, by a man who was out flying model airplanes.
Leon was delivery guy for Domino’s Pizza, that Domino’s had raised an alarm when Leon failed to return to work.
UPDATE:DPD will be releasing information regarding the homicide of Mr. Nathan Leon & connections to other cases here on Twitter today
— Denver Police Dept (@DenverPolice) March 22, 2013
A Domino’s pizza carrier and uniform were found in the trunk of the Cadillac.
4. Meanwhile, Cops Are Probing the Murder of a Prosecutor in Texas
Law enforcement in Texas and Colorado are collaborating to see if there is a connection between the killing of Colorado Dept. of Corrections chief Tom Clements and Kaufmann County DA, Mark Hasse of Texas , reports CBS DFW.
The link comes from Hasse’s previous prosecutions involving members of white power gangs in Texas and Evan Ebel’s links to a skinhead prison gang.
Hasse was shot and killed in the parking lot of the Kaufman County courthouse in January. Currently there is a $100,000 reward out for the information leading to the capture of Hasse’s killer.
5. He’s Tied to White Supremacist Gangsters
Ebel has been affiliated with the Nazi prison gang “211s,” aka the Brotherhood of Aryan Alliance, reports CBS Denver. The gang was formed in 1995 at Denver County Jail by Benjamin Davis, a career criminal. I reportedly has up 1,000 members and is exclusive to Colorado.
The link has not been confirmed by law-enforcement:
#breaking Law Enforcement offficials not confirming involvement of white supremacist groups, Ebel had 2 different license plates.
— Randy McIlwain (@RandyMacNBC5) March 22, 2013
The gang is associated in every facet of organized crime, while also promoting racist-skinhead ideology. The gang’s most high-profile incident occurred in 1997 when gang member Jeremiah Barnum murdered African student Oumar Dia.
6. He Had a Troubled Youth
Ebel was raised by his father, Jack, in the Applewood Knolls Drive, in Lakewood, Colorado. Jack Ebel is a prominent oil and gas lawyer in Colorado. He also had a sister, Marin. Jack had spent much of his time helping his son. In 2011, he testified before Colorado’s State Legislature regarding his son’s solitary confinement, he spoke of his son’s mental illness and argued that people with conditions like this should not be subjected to solitary, he said:
He’ll rant a little bit. He’ll stammer, He’ll be frustrated that he can’t find the words. And I let him get it out, and eventually, because I’m his father, he will talk to me. And I’m convinced, if any of the rest of you were to go talk to him, he wouldn’t be able to talk to you.
Ebel house at 11735 Applewood Knolls Drive, Lakewood, Colorado. (Google Street View)
Ebel was in-and-out of various juvenile detention centers during his teenage years, even spending time in a boot camp in Samoa. He only spent one month in a regular college, and while there he was in a special education class.
The Daily Beast reports:
Ryan Arci, who ran around in some of the same circles with Ebel, remembers his as “as a dark kid, depressed. His walls in his room were black and his windows were blacked out.” Ebel’s friends say he had a tattoo across his back that said “Hopeless.” He sometimes signed his letters from jail, “Evil Evan.”
7. His Dad is a Friend of the Governor
The Department of Corrections for Colorado have not released what date Evan Ebel was released from prison, believing it to be part of a criminal investigation.
According to the The Denver Post, Ebel’s father was close with Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, though Hickenlooper has denied any knowledge of Ebel’s parole:
I didn’t know Evan was out. I never talked to anyone, never specifically named him to anyone. , Jack Ebel would never ask me. B, I would never do it. I would never, for a friend, I would never ask on Jack’s behalf without telling him. I never discussed it with anyone. Tom Clements had never heard of Even Ebel, never knew he existed and never knew that I knew someone named Evan Ebel
Hickenlooper, who signed three major gun-control bills hours after Clements was murdered, is the one who interviewed and appointed Clements as head of the state DOC.
8. He Has a Long Rapsheet
Ebel spent the majority of his adult years in the clink.
Back in 2003, Ebel pulled a gun on a group watching a Denver Broncos game at a home in Lakewood, Colorado, the same town where he grew up, he was convicted on a firearms charge but served no time. A year later he attempted an armed robbery on a home in Adams County, he received a prison sentence for this incident. During his sentence, in 2007, he assaulted a prison guard, and received four additional years.
9. Neighbors Describe Him as ‘Wild’ and ‘a Handful’
Ebel has been described by neighbors who lived near his family home in Lakewood, Colorado as “wild, and a bit of handful.”
Neighbor Vicky Bankey told CBS4:
He was sort of problematic. I told my kids to stay clear of him. He did drugs.We’d see him running around with his friends. I think he dropped out of school kind of young,
He worked for one year in the popular Morrison Inn restaurant in Lakewood.
10. A Saudi Arabian Prisoner Was Also Eyed as Being Linked to the Clements Killing
Some early theories into Tom Clements murder speculated that Saudi-national Homaidan al-Turki was in some way linked to the shooting. Clements had recently denied al-Turki’s request to serve the remainder of his eight year sentence in Saudi Arabia. Al-Turki was known to have links with known terroist sympathizer Anwar al-Awlaki.
Talk of that has died down, since Evan Ebel has become a person of interest in the investigation, and now Muslim community leaders are dismayed at the coverage of al-Turki’s link to the crime. Speaking to the Colorado Independent, Imam Abdur-Rahim said:
You’d expect this kind of speculation from Fox News but not from The Denver Post, for the media to put Islam in the middle of this, it’s just unconscionable. It’s the worst form of yellow journalism, here’s a man [Clements] who oversees twenty-something-thousand prisoners, and to just make a leap and say that it had anything to do with al-Turki… it’s just unbelievable. Hate groups have more than tripled in America. These other things are going on and you just jump to so-called Islamic terrorism? It’s an outrage.
This kind of journalism, we have to speak out against it. The Muslim community is going to demand an apology.