DENVER -- A paroled Colorado inmate grievously wounded after a gun battle and high-speed chase with Texas law-enforcement officers on Thursday is suspected of being tied to the killing of the head of Colorado's prison system.
Sheriff David Walker of Wise County, Tex., said the authorities had tentatively identified the suspect as Evan Spencer Ebel, 28. Court records in Colorado show that Mr. Ebel has a criminal history dating to 2003, including convictions for robbery, weapons charges and assault. He was on parole in the Denver area.
Sheriff Walker said the authorities were hoping to use fingerprint matches to confirm the suspect's identity. He said Texas officials also planned to speak with Colorado investigators about Mr. Ebel's possible involvement with a white supremacist prison gang.
The man believed to be Mr. Ebel was being kept alive by artificial means late Thursday.
He was pulled over about 65 miles northwest of Dallas at 11 a.m. on Thursday. He was driving a black Cadillac with Colorado license plates that matched the description of a car that had been spotted near the Monument, Colo., home of Tom Clements, executive director of Colorado's Department of Corrections, shortly before he was shot to death while answering his front door about 8:40 p.m. on Tuesday.
Law enforcement officials said the man in the Cadillac opened fire on a sheriff's deputy from Montague County, Tex., and then sped off, heading south at 100 miles per hour. When police and sheriff's officers from nearby Wise County tried to stop him he fired out of the car's window, striking at least two cruisers.
He then crashed into an 18-wheel tractor-trailer, which crumpled the Cadillac like a tin can. The man jumped out of the car armed with a handgun and fired at officers until he was shot, officials said.
"He didn't look like he wanted to be caught or taken alive," Police Chief Rex Hoskins of Decatur, Tex., the Wise County seat, said at a news conference.
The authorities in Texas said the man could be connected with Mr. Clements's death and a number of other killings in Colorado. They did not provide any other details.
Investigators from Colorado were heading to Texas on Thursday night.nation
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.