Mark Schnyder, NBC 5 News
A man who could be linked to the slaying of Colorado's state prison chief is likely to die after being shot by Wise County deputies after a chase and shootout Thursday.
A man who led North Texas law enforcement officers on a wild chase Thursday is legally dead after shooting a sheriff's deputy and taking multiple shots at other officers, police say.
Wise and Montague county officials said Montague County Sheriff's Deputy James Boyd was shot three times while during a traffic stop in Bowie late Thursday morning.
Boyd was struck twice in his bulletproof vest, and a third shot grazed his head. As the gunman drove away from the scene of the shooting, Boyd was able to radio for help and provide a description of the vehicle.
A short time later in Wise County, a Texas state trooper spotted a vehicle matching the shooter's description north of Alvord and attempted to stop the driver. The driver refused, and officers gave chase.
During the pursuit, police said the driver stuck his head out of the window as he continually fired on police cars, hitting at least two of them.
"I was out on 287, at a crossover, waiting for him to approach. When he came by he was winging his left arm out the window with his pistol, just shooting at every police officer he could see," Decatur Police Chief Rex Hoskins said. "I couldn't believe it when I seen him started doing it. Didn't think I got hit, but then found out he did hit the front tire on my vehicle."
The chase continued until the driver was struck broadside by a big-rig only a few hundred yards away from the Wise County Sheriff's Office headquarters near the intersection of Business 380 West and U.S. 380 in Decatur.
"He also fired on our lieutenant who was out there. Was able to strike his vehicle in the tire and shoot through the driver's side windshield on our patrol car, our lieutenant's car," said Wise County Sheriff David Walker.
After the crash, police said the man then got out of his vehicle and continued shooting at police. Officers returned fire, injuring the man and bringing the chase to a close.
The gunman, later identified as 28-year-old Evan Spencer Ebel, was transported first by ground ambulance and later by air to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. Wise County officials said Ebel is legally dead but on life support for potential organ harvesting.
No officers were injured in the exchange of gunfire. Boyd was flown by air ambulance to Fort Worth and is expected to make a full recovery.
Ebel is a parolee with ties to a white supremacist prison gang, according to KUSA-TV in Denver. He is also suspected in the slaying of Colorado prison chief Tom Clements and the shooting death of a Denver-area pizza delivery driver, according to KUSA.
The investigation into the chase and shootings are being investigated by multiple North Texas agencies, including the sheriff's departments in Wise and Montague counties, Decatur police, the Office of the Inspector General, the FBI and the Texas Rangers. Additionally, Wise County officials said investigators from Colorado are expected to arrive in North Texas Thursday evening to join the investigation.