DENVER — A white supremacist prison gang member was arrested but another was still being sought for questioning Friday in the death of Colorado’s prisons chief as authorities investigated whether the gang had any ties to the killing.
James Lohr was taken into custody early Friday, El Paso County sheriff’s spokesman Jeff Kramer said. Lohr was wanted for questioning in the slaying of Department of Corrections Director Tom Clements.
Authorities believe Lohr was in contact with gang associate Evan Ebel days before the killings of Clements and pizza delivery man Nate Leon. Police said they believe Ebel killed Leon and Clements in the days before he died in a shootout in Texas. The motive in the killings isn’t clear.
Clements was shot to death March 19 in Monument, just north of Colorado Springs. Leon was killed two days earlier. His body was found in the Denver suburb of Golden.
KRDO-TV reported Colorado Springs police arrested Lohr after a short foot chase that started when police tried to stop a car.
Authorities issued an alert Wednesday asking other law enforcement agencies to be on the lookout for Lohr and Thomas Guolee, both of Colorado Springs, who were identified as 211 Crew members. Ebel was a member of the same gang.
Lohr, 47, and Guolee, 31, are not being called suspects in Clements’ death, but their names surfaced during the investigation, Kramer said. Both were wanted on warrants unrelated to the Clements investigation.
Ebel was killed in a shootout with Texas authorities after the Colorado deaths. Investigators have said the gun he used in the shootout also was used to kill Clements when the prisons chief answered the front door of his home.
Ebel has been the only suspect named in Clements’ death. Investigators have said they’re looking into his connection to the gang he joined while in prison, and whether that was linked to the attack.
“Investigators are looking at a lot of different possibilities,” Kramer has said. “We are not stepping out and saying it’s a hit or it’s not a hit. We’re looking at all possible motives.”