Colorado investigators believe the man who led police on a high-speed chase and shootout Thursday, wounding a deputy in Montague County, is a known white supremacist and suspect in the shooting deaths of a Colorado prisons chief and a Denver pizza delivery driver.
The Denver Post reported that federal and state authorities, speaking on condition of anonymity, identified the man as 28-year-old Evan Spencer Ebel.
Texas law enforcement authorities, however, on Thursday were awaiting confirmation on the man’s identity.
Meanwhile, Deputy James Boyd was in serious condition Thursday night at Texas Health Harris Methodist Fort Worth, a hospital spokeswoman said.
For Fort Worth Police officer Johnny Bell, leaving the hospital in a car instead of a hearse was never a question.
Bell, on Jan. 29, was severely wounded while helping to catch a meth dealer who was hiding out at an auto service business in Haltom City.
"You've got to tell yourself you're going to be OK," Bell said, "and you will be."
That's a very positive outlook, considering Bell was shot three times, including once in the eye.
As he left the hospital Thursday, the Fort Worth police honor guard and his fellow motorcycle officers stood at attention and saluted him.
Applause broke out among other patients, hospital employees, and visitors who had stopped to watch.
Though usually reserved for an officer's funeral, the honor guard appeared at the insistence of Police Chief Jeffrey Halstead.
"If he were to have died, we would have had his funeral this week. We would have had hundreds, if not thousands, celebrating his service," Halstead said. "I think we need to celebrate his life. ... He deserves it."
A 21-year veteran of the Fort Worth Police Department was in serious condition late Tuesday at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital after he was shot by a man fleeing police, authorities said.
Cpl. Joe Hackfeld, Haltom City police spokesman, said the incident began when a patrol officer from his city tried to stop a vehicle during a narcotics investigation. The driver refused to stop and a chase ensued.
It led to the Carson Street area, where the driver abandoned the vehicle and ran.
The Haltom City officer lost sight of the man, so officers began searching the neighborhood.
Meanwhile, the two Fort Worth officers were visiting with the owner of 2nd Opinion Auto Center, said Officer Sharron Neal, a Fort Worth police spokeswoman. They learned from Haltom City police that a search was under way.
"A moment later, an employee came up and said a suspect was at the rear of the business," Neal said. "When officers went there, they were fired upon, at which time, officers returned fire."
A 44-year-old Tarrant County man was in custody late Wednesday afternoon after a chase in which an Arlington motorcycle officer was injured.
Officer Jason Heisel, an eight-year veteran, suffered a foot injury and was treated at Medical Center Arlington. He was released Wednesday night and is at home recovering today, according to a Facebook post by Arlington police.
Tarrant County Jail records show that the suspect faces charges of delivery or manufacture of a controlled substance, evading arrest and aggravated assault on a public servant.
The man, whose last known address was in Fort Worth, has a record of multiple felony drug convictions and was wanted for questioning in an ongoing investigation, Sheriff’s Department spokesman Terry Grisham said in a news release.
Arlington police said the chase began at about 4:15 p.m. after an officer saw the suspect commit a traffic violation in the 6000 block of West Pioneer Parkway. The suspect, who was driving a red SUV, led officers on a chase for several blocks that went into a residential area of Dalworthington Gardens.
On Estates Drive, a cul-de-sac, the suspect made a U-turn and headed for Heisel, who took evasive action and went down, police said.
The suspect turned onto Sieber Drive, another cul-de-sac, drove through a fence and fled, but officers soon had him in custody, police said.
Getting shot in the head was never going to stop Arlington police officer Bryan Graham from returning to duty just as soon as his bosses would let him.
As long, that is, as he still had the blessing of his wife and two young children.
Graham, a member of the Arlington SWAT unit, reflected Thursday morning on his quick recovery -- he was back at work 20 days after the shooting -- and on being chosen for an award that will be presented Friday in Austin by Gov. Rick Perry.
The 12-year veteran of the Arlington Police Department was wounded the evening of June 5 during a tactical operation to help Fort Worth police arrest an armed-robbery suspect. He was the first officer to enter the east Arlington apartment where Alexzander Rye Coan, 23, was holed up.
A shot fired by Coan struck Graham in his right temple. In a stroke of remarkable fortune, the bullet never penetrated his skull but traveled along the side of his head and exited behind his ear.
Graham said that, other than losing consciousness for what fellow officers said was about 10 seconds, he remembered everything that happened.
"I knew where we were," he told members of the DFW news media at police headquarters. "I knew why we were there."
It quickly became apparent to Graham that he wasn't seriously injured. His wife, Lauren, however, suffered through what must have seemed like hours of angst after she was picked up and driven to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, where Graham was taken.
"All she knew was that I had been shot in the face," Graham said. "She had a half an hour or longer of thinking the worst."
Lauren Graham said Thursday that it was a "tough experience" but that she knows how much her husband loves his job.
"He was a police officer long before we got married," she said. "I knew what I was getting myself into."
Another member of the tactical team, officer Charles Crawford, said a day after the incident that Graham "performed at the level of a hero."
Police fatally shot Coan, a suspect in at least four aggravated robberies in Fort Worth.
Fort Worth police had located Coan at an apartment complex in the 600 block of East Arkansas Lane and had tried to execute an arrest warrant at about 4:45 p.m. When Coan wouldn't come out, Arlington police were called to assist.
In Austin, Graham will receive the Governor's Star of Texas. The award began in 2003 and honors peace officers, firefighters and emergency medical responders who are seriously injured or killed in the line of duty.
Many of Graham's fellow officers will accompany him and his family to Austin on Friday.
Arlington police tweeted a photo of tactical officer Bryan Graham, who was shot in the side of the head Tuesday night as he led a hostage rescue team into an apartment.
But rather than being grisly, the photo of a smiling Graham is beautiful because of what it represents: a close call that didn't turn tragic for the dedicated officer, the family he adores and the police community. The bullet struck him outside his right eye and exited behind his ear but never penetrated his skull.
Graham, 35, led the charge into an apartment in the 600 block of East Arkansas Lane where a 23-year-old armed-robbery suspect was holed up with his girlfriend and a second woman who police say was being held against her will. After being shot -- which felt like somebody hit him with a baseball bat, he told fellow officers -- he had the presence of mind to position his body in a manner that didn't obstruct the path of the officers following him.
Another member of the tactical team, officer Charles Crawford, said Wednesday that Graham "performed at the level of a hero."
Although Graham was released from the hospital on Wednesday, he is still dealing with the pain from his injury and isn't ready to return to duty, Sgt. Christopher Cook, the Police Department's communications supervisor, said Friday.
The suspect, Alexzander Coan, was shot multiple times and died Tuesday night at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.