Posted: Mar 21, 2013 7:01 PM by CBS News
Police are looking into whether or not a shootout and car chase with police officers in Texas -- which injured a deputy and left the suspect brain dead -- is linked to the murder of Colorado prison chief Tom Clements, CBS Denver affiliate KCNC reports.
Clements, the executive director of the Colorado Department of Corrections, was killed after he answered the door at his home in Monument Tuesday night.
Texas authorities are checking whether a shooting suspect's black Cadillac with Colorado plates was the same car spotted near the Clements' home the night he was killed.
The driver in the car chase, which ended with a crash in Decatur, Texas, has been declared legally dead at an area hospital and is being kept on machines for potential organ donation..
"After the suspect was struck by the 18-wheeler he exited the vehicle with a firearm and engaged our deputies in a firefight ... The suspect was hit as the deputies returned fire," said Wise County Sheriff David Walker.
"He didn't plan on being taken alive," said Decatur Police Chief Rex Hoskins, according to KCNC. "It didn't look like he wanted to be caught or taken alive."
It all began when Texas officers tried to pull over a known drug suspect in Montague County Thursday, when someone inside the vehicle started firing back and drove away. The Montague Sheriff's office said the deputy who first approached the vehicle, James Boyd, was shot and is expected to make a full recovery.
Officials continued to drive after the suspect, whose identity isn't known, in a high-speed chase that led through two counties. The male suspect reportedly continued shooting as he led authorities on the chase.
Eventually the suspect crashed the Cadillac in Decatur, near Highway 380 and US 287. At some point, he was shot in the head and taken to an area hospital.
Clements is the fifth criminal justice official in the United States to be targeted since the beginning of the year, including the still unsolved murder of a Texas prosecutor shot dead outside a courthouse in January, CBS News correspondent Mark Strassman reports.
Glenn McGovern, an investigator with the District Attorney's Office in Santa Clara County California, found that there were 35 such attacks or attempted attacks between 2010 and 2012. That's nearly as many as all the attacks on public officials over the prior nine years. The primary motive, McGovern told Strassman, appears to be revenge.
"It's very worrisome," McGovern said. "No government agency besides maybe the secret service provides 24-hour protection. We can't do that."
Clements, who ran prisons in two states for 30-plus years, could have potentially built up a number of grievances and grudges with guys he had contact with - but officials haven't yet zeroed in on who the suspect could be.
"There could be any one of a number of people who would have a motive to perpetrate a crime like this against Mr. Clements," Lt. Kramer told Strassman.
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