WICHITA FALLS — The shooting of a Montague County deputy Thursday may be related to the murder of the executive director of the Colorado prison system on Tuesday.
The deputy was shot about 11 a.m. while he made a traffic stop on U.S. 287 at the intersection of Highway 59.
KMGH-TV, the Scripps television station in Denver, reported deputies there confirmed that they are investigating whether the Montague County shooter was the same person who shot and killed the head of the prison system. The FBI is also looking into a possible connection between the murder of Tom Clements in the doorway of his home.
“There is an investigation into that right now,” Montague County Sheriff Paul Cunningham said at a news conference Thursday afternoon. “There’s nothing confirmed.”
The wounded deputy is James Boyd, 27, a 3-year-veteran of the office.
Cunningham said Boyd was shot when he got out of his car at a traffic stop but was able to radio information in about the suspect and vehicle.
The suspect reportedly continued southbound into Wise County after the shooting.
Cunningham confirmed Boyd was shot three times, once in the head and twice in the chest. He was found lying beside his patrol unit. His life was possibly saved by body armor. He was careflighted to a hospital in Fort Worth. The suspect vehicle, a dark-colored older model sedan, was spotted by authorities in neighboring Wise County and a running shoot-out began as the chase entered Decatur. DPS troopers, Wise County deputies and Decatur police were involved in the pursuit that reached 100 mpg. The suspect turned off U.S. 287 onto U.S. 380 in Decatur where the vehicle collided with a rock-hauling truck and caught fire. Shots continued after the collision and the suspect was shot in the head. The man, thought to be in his 30s, was flown to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth in critical condition. Associated Press reported Thursday afternoon the suspect was believed to be brain dead
Wise County Sheriff David Walker says the man, who had no identification, was “basically legally dead,” although he remained hooked to equipment for organ harvesting.
Wichita County Sheriff David Duke said one of his deputies followed the suspect vehicle through Wichita Falls because the vehicle is of the type often used in narcotics trafficking. Duke said the driver never violated any traffic rules, so the deputy pulled off. Duke also said some of his officers have gone to Montague County to help on patrol duty while that office responds to the shooting of one of its own.
Southbound U.S. 287 at the scene of the shooting in Montague County was closed several hours so investigators could work.
Clements, 58, had become head of the Colorado prison system in 2011 after working in Missouri prisons for 30 years.