White supremacist arrested in connection with Colorado prison chief killing
James Lohr, who authorities have called a “known associate” of the white supremacist prison gang 211 Crew, was captured by the Colorado Springs Police Department Thursday night. The 47-year-old man was pulled over by police and then tried to escape on foot. He was quickly captured and taken into custody, but police are still searching for one more suspected accomplice in the murder case.
On March 19, Colorado prison chief Tom Clements was shot dead when he answered the door to his home. Pizza delivery man Nate Leon was also found dead. Authorities linked the murders to a gun found on former convict Evan Spencer Ebel, who was found dead after engaging in a roadside gun battle with Texas authorities on March 21. Ebel had been mistakenly released from prison in January, and according to phone records he may have conspired with Lohr and 31-year-old Thomas Guolee before murdering the prison chief.
Investigators are “looking at all possible motives” and trying to determine whether or not leaders of the white supremacist gang ordered a hit on the prison chief.
“We’re looking at all possible motives,” Kramer told AP.
Both Lohr and Guolee were already wanted on warrants regarding crimes unrelated to the murder of Clements. Authorities issued an alert on Wednesday, warning other police officers to be on the lookout for the men, which they said were likely to be armed and dangerous.
“Because of the circumstances where you have violent folks who are willing to execute a DOC official, we don’t want to underestimate these guys,” Lieutenant Jeff Kramer, a spokesman for Colorado’s El Pase County Sheriff’s Office, told the Denver Post.
Authorities told USA TODAY that they believe the white supremacists may have fled the state and headed to Texas or Nevada, but Lohr was found just a few miles away from where Clements was shot in Monument, Colo. – a small city north of Colorado Springs.
Police are still searching for Guolee, a parolee who served time in prison for intimidating a witness and giving a pawnbroker false information, according to court records obtained by CBS News.
Authorities have not elaborated on how they believe Guolee and Lohr are connected to the murder, but have stated that they are trying to find the connection between the 211 Crew gang and the attack. Kramer has called the men “known associates” of the white supremacist gang.
Authorities have also found that Ebel, the suspected murderer, had fantasized about torturing and killing prison guards while imprisoned at the correctional facility. In letters he wrote to a friend, he referred to himself as “Evil Evan Ebel” and described what he wanted to do to the guards.
“I just fantasize about catching them out on the bricks and subjecting them to vicious torture and eventual murder, and that seems to get me through the days with a good degree of my sanity remaining intact,” Ebel wrote in a 2006 letter that was confiscated by prison guards.
And after being mistakenly released, the white supremacist had the freedom to conduct an attack. Ebel is the main suspect in the murder case, but investigators are still searching for Guolee, who they believe was also involved.