Colorado Gov. Sympathizes With Parents of Gunman
(Monument, Colo.) -- The parents of Evan Ebel, who signed his name "Evil Evan" and is a suspect in two murders, had a "bad streak" that his parents "tried desperately to correct," Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said.
Hickenlooper is a friend of Ebel's father Jack Ebel, whose son is the prime suspect in the killing of a pizza delivery man and Colorado's prisons chief Tom Clements, a murder that brought Hickenlooper close to tears this week.
A shootout with Texas cops that killed Ebel Thursday came despite efforts by his parents that literally spanned the globe to curb an increasingly paranoid and violent son.
A blog maintained by Ebel's mother, Jody Mangue, documented a son troubled from youth who was sent to behavioral programs in Jamaica, Samoa, Mexico and Utah.
Even when he was prison, his parents tried to rescue him. Jack Ebel testified in March 2011 before a committee of the Colorado Legislature regarding a proposal that would require inmates to spend time outside of solitary confinement before leaving prison.
"What I've seen over six years is he has become increasingly ... he has a high level of paranoia and [is] extremely anxious. So when he gets out to visit me, and he gets out of his cell to talk to me, I mean he is so agitated that it will take an hour to an hour-and-half before we can actually talk," Jack Ebel told lawmakers.
The governor on Friday issued a statement that sympathized with his friend Jack Ebel whose son may have killed his other friend, Clements.
"Jack is one of the most kind and generous people I know. His son had a bad streak that I know he tried desperately to correct," Hickenlooper said.
"Although Jack loved his son, he never asked me to intervene on his behalf and I never asked for any special treatment for his son," the governor said.
Ebel dropped out of school, where he had been in a special education program for "severely impacted" students. Friends said he "lost it" when his sister, Marin Ebel, was killed in a car crash as a teenager in 2004. The death seemed to set off a string of criminal behaviors and jail stints for Ebel.
In an undated post on her blog when Ebel was still in prison, his mother hinted at the responsibility the parents felt for his criminal life.
"Some people may blame us for what has happened to Evan. I can only say that his dad and I had to make hard decisions when he was younger hoping to avoid where he is now," she wrote.
Jack Ebel released the following statement on Saturday:
"I am profoundly saddened by the recent events involving my son, Evan Ebel, and offer my most sincere condolences to all of those individuals and families who have suffered from his actions. I ask for privacy for me and my family during this time as we grieve for the loss of life that has occurred and for all of those affected."
A private funeral for Clements is taking place Sunday, followed by a public memorial on Monday at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs at 10 a.m.
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