Gun ties parolee to slaying of Colorado corrections chief
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Gun evidence links a Colorado parolee fatally shot in Texas with the death of Colorado's corrections chief, investigators said on Monday.
The El Paso County sheriff's office said that “unique and often microscopic markings” found on shell casings in Texas and Colorado lead investigators to conclude that the gun Evan Ebel used to shoot at authorities in Texas was the same gun used to kill Tom Clements in his home last week.
It had been known that the casings found at both scenes were of the same caliber and brand, but the announcement was the first time Colorado investigators made a direct link between Ebel and Clements' death.
What remained unknown though was why Clements was killed when he answered his front door on Tuesday night and whether Ebel acted alone.
“There are no answers at this time surrounding motive, and gaining these answers could be a lengthy process for investigators,” Lt. Jeff Kramer, El Paso County sheriff's spokesman, said in statement.
The announcement was made hours after hundreds of people, including corrections officials and guards from as far away as Morocco, gathered for a memorial service for Clements.
The crowd in New Life Church included 39 current and former corrections chiefs and guards from 14 states. A delegation of corrections officials from Morocco attended, along with dignitaries including Gov. John Hickenlooper and U.S. Attorney John Walsh.
Hickenlooper and Clements' widow both spoke about his strong belief in redemption. His family said he decided as a teenager to work in corrections after visiting an uncle in prison, and he worked to reduce the use of solitary confinement in Colorado prisons.
Standing with her two daughters, Lisa Clements said her husband of 28 years would want justice as well as forgiveness.
“We want everyone who hears Tom's story to know that he lived his life believing in redemption, in the ability of the human heart to be changed. He would want justice certainly, but moreover he'd want forgiveness. Our family prays for the family of the man who took Tom's life and we will pray for forgiveness in our own hearts and our own peace,” said Lisa Clements, a psychologist who oversees Colorado's state mental health institutes.
Hickenlooper, who hired Clements about two years ago, told mourners that Clements was pragmatic and principled.
“He had common sense and he had courage,” Hickenlooper said.
Authorities say the car Ebel had in Texas is similar to one seen not far from Clements' home the night he was killed.
A federal law enforcement official said Ebel had been a member of the 211s, a white supremacist prison gang in Colorado. Kramer said investigators are trying to determine whether there was gang involvement in the killing, but he stressed that's only one aspect of a broad investigation.
Denver police say Ebel is a suspect in the March 17 slaying of pizza delivery man Nathan Leon.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Naked man still locked up
- Feds put brakes on green energy edict of renewable fuel standard
- Test vaccine to fight Ebola promising
- Fewer adults smoking, U.S. survey finds
- National Guard reinforcements contain damage in Ferguson
- Supreme Court will hear challenge to EPA’s power-plant rules
- Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg has surgery for coronary blockage
- 2 FBI agents shot, wounded in St. Louis area
- Is Obama order on firm legal ground? Probably
- Convenience stores, movie theaters, amusement parks to fall under new FDA nutrition labeling rule
- Brown family blasts prosecutor; Wilson speaks