News Column

Colorado Prisons Chief Shot Dead in Home

March 20, 2013

A top law enforcement official of the US state of Colorado was shot dead in his home, the Denver Post reported Wednesday, the day the governor was due to sign gun control measures.

Tom Clements, executive director of the Colorado Department of Corrections, was killed Tuesday night, police said, adding that there were no suspects as yet.

Investigators were trying to confirm whether Clements was shot as he opened the door.

It did not appear that robbery was a motive, the newspaper quoted Lieutenant Jeff Kramer, spokesman for the El Paso County sheriff's office, as saying. "There is no evidence of a home invasion."

"Whether he was specifically targeted or this was random, we don't know," Kramer said. "We know of his position and realize that it is a possible motive for a crime such as this."

Governor John Hickenlooper, in a message sent to employees, said: "I can hardly believe it, let alone write words to describe it. As your executive director, he helped change and improve (the department) in two years more than most people could do in eight years."

Colorado lawmakers have been considering a package of bills, which would impose additional regulations on the ownership and sale of firearms and ammunition. The measures were due to be signed on Wednesday.

Gun legislation in the US Congress has gained momentum after a series of deadly shooting sprees last year across the country, culminating in the December massacre of 20 children and six adults at a school in Newtown, Connecticut.

In July, 25-year-old James Holmes killed 12 people and wounded 58 during a shooting spree at a cinema in Aurora, Colorado, outside Denver.

Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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