Gunman in Texas shootout tied to jail chief's murder

A gunman who shot a sheriff's deputy and led a bullet-riddled chase through a small town in Texas could also be responsible for the murder of Colorado's prison chief, officials said Thursday.

Local media identified the gunman as Evan Spencer Ebel, 28, a white supremacist with a criminal history dating back a decade.

He is also considered a suspect in the murder of a pizza delivery man in Denver on Sunday.

The gunman was eventually stopped after his car was struck by a big truck and is brain dead after being shot during a standoff with sheriff's deputies.

"We have been told that he is basically legally deceased, however he is on machines for potential organ harvesting," Wise County Sheriff David Walker told reporters.

Police had been searching for the driver of a dark Cadillac after Tom Clements, head of the Colorado Department of Corrections, was shot dead after answering the door of his home near Denver on Tuesday evening.

Then a sheriff's deputy in northern Texas pulled a black Cadillac with Colorado plates over for what should have been a routine traffic stop on Thursday morning.

He was shot multiple times but was able to call for help, Walker said.

Every officer in the area raced after the black Cadillac and at least two of their vehicles -- including the police chief's -- were struck as the gunman shot wildly at his pursuers.

"When he came by me I'd say he was coming by around 100 miles an hour, had his left arm out the window just shooting," Decatur Police Chief Rex Hoskins told reporters.

Saved by his bullet proof vest after being shot in the chest, the deputy is recovering in hospital. While a bullet also grazed his head, his injuries are not considered life-threatening, Walker said.