COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Colorado corrections chief Tom Clements and his wife were watching television when the doorbell rang last Tuesday night. Clements opened the door and was shot to death.
“My life was changed forever,” Lisa Clements told hundreds of people, including corrections guards and officials from around the country, who gathered at a memorial service for her husband Monday.
Nearly a week after Clements' death, investigators in Colorado say the gun suspect Evan Ebel used in a shoot-out with authorities in Texas is the same one used to kill Clements. However, they don't know yet whether Ebel is the person who shot Clements, whether he acted alone and what motivated the slaying of a corrections' chief admired by prisoner advocates and prison guards alike. Authorities warned that could take some time.
Until investigators determine whether Ebel, paroled from Colorado's prison system, in January, acted alone, “it's hard to know what his role was,” Lt. Jeff Kramer of the El Paso County Sheriff's Office told The Associated Press.
“He remains a suspect in our investigation, obviously, especially after receiving this confirmed link from Texas,” he said.
No other suspects have been named.
Denver police suspect Ebel was involved in the killing of pizza deliveryman Nathan Leon. His body was found two days before Clements was killed.
Investigators also do not know whether the pizza box and Domino's Pizza shirt or jacket found in the car Ebel was driving when he was captured in Texas — similar to one spotted near Clements home — were used by the killer to persuade Clements to open the door of his home, Kramer said.
A federal law enforcement official says Ebel was a member of the 211 Crew, a white supremacist prison gang in Colorado.
Kramer said investigators are looking at who Ebel's associates were in prison and outside of prison.
At the memorial service at New Life Church, both Lisa Clements and Gov. John Hickenlooper spoke about Clements' strong belief in redemption. His family said he decided as a teenager to work in corrections after visiting his uncle in prison, and he worked to reduce the use of solitary confinement in Colorado prisons.
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