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Man in Texas car chase, shootout, may have ties to Colorado prison chief death

Investigators are headed to Texas to see if there are any connections between a man who was involved in a shootout and the killing of the Colorado Department of Corrections chief. NBC's Kristen Dahlgren reports.

A man in a black Cadillac who got into a shootout with Texas deputies may have ties to the murder of the Colorado prisons chief earlier this week, authorities said.

The man in the shootout remains in the hospital but is "legally deceased," Wise County, Texas, Sheriff David Walker said, saying he is being kept alive to allow his organs to potentially be harvested. 

The man’s car had Colorado license plates and was heading south, according to police. Colorado officials had issued an appeal to the public to be on the lookout for a boxy, dark Cadillac or Lincoln.

According to Texas authorities, the man's identity remains a mystery. "He had no identification on him," Walker said. "Nothing." Police said he was a white male and looked to be in his 30s.

It remains unclear if he is linked to the Colorado murder case, though authorities said the description of the car and the Colorado plates indicated there was a possibility.

"I know that there are a lot of rumors going around," Walker said about the Colorado link. "We don’t know that it is, or it's not."

He said Colorado was sending investigators who are looking into the killing of Tom Clements, 58, the director of the state’s Department of Corrections, who was shot Tuesday evening when he answered the door to his home.

Texas Rangers and the FBI are also assisting in the investigation.

Related: Police search for boxy car, jogger in Colorado prison chief shooting

Thursday's dramatic events began with a traffic stop in which the suspect opened fire on a deputy, hitting him in the chest twice and once in the head, authorities said. The suspect then raced off in heavy traffic and exchanged gunfire with officers. The chase ended when the Cadillac crashed into an 18-wheeler, spun and rammed the trailer of the big rig again.

The deputy, who was wearing a bulletproof vest, was taken by helicopter to a Fort Worth hospital.

As for the suspect, police said it was clear as he repeatedly exchanged gunfire that he had no intention of being apprehended.

"It didn’t look like he wanted to be caught, or taken alive,” Decatur Police Chief Rex Hoskins said.

In an update on the case, the El Paso (Colorado) County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement saying the department was cooperating with the FBI and local authorities in Texas to determine if the chase incident was connected to the investigation into Clements’ death.

Police search for the killer after head of Colorado Department of Corrections is murdered at his home. NBC News' Leanne Gregg reports.

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