The executive director of the Colorado Department of Corrections, Tom Clements, was shot to death Tuesday night at his home in Monument, Colo., authorities say.
Members of Clements’ family called 911 at 8:37 p.m. and reported the attack, said Lt. Jeff Kramer, spokesman for the El Paso County Sheriff’s office.
Sheriff’s investigators are trying to confirm whether Clements was shot as he opened the door. The shooting happened in a heavily wooded, upscale neighborhood in the rolling hills east of Interstate 25.
Sheriff’s deputies have cordoned off the area and are using dogs to search for clues.
“We have no known suspect at this time,” Kramer said.
It does not appear that robbery was a motive for the murder, Kramer said.
“There is no evidence of a home invasion,” he said. “Whether he was specifically targeted or this was random, we don’t know.”
“We know of his position and realize that it is a possible motive for a crime such as this,” Kramer said. “It’s a quick, rapidly evolving investigation. We’ve been on scene through the night.”
He declined to comment about Clements’ specific injuries.
A large number of investigators are working the case and have been canvassing the neighborhood looking for possible evidence.
Gov. John Hickenlooper reached out to corrections employees early Wednesday.
“Last night, Tom Clements was killed at his home in Monument. I can hardly believe it, let alone write words to describe it,” Hickenlooper said in the statement sent to employees.
Clements was appointed to his role by Gov. Hickenlooper in January 2011, and he came to Colorado from Missouri.
“As your Executive Director, he helped change and improve DOC in two years more than most people could do in eight years,” Hickenlooper said in his statement. “He was unfailingly kind and thoughtful, and sought the ‘good’ in any situation. As you all know, in corrections that is not easy.”
Clements is survived by his wife, Lisa and their two daughters, Hickenlooper said. His family is requesting privacy at this time.
“I am so sad. I have never worked with a better person than Tom, and I can’t imagine our team without him,” Hickenlooper said.
Hickenlooper on Wednesday ordered all flags be lowered to half-staff from sunrise to sunset in memory of Clements until the day after his funeral.
Alison Morgan, assistant director of finance and administration, said DOC is providing information to El Paso County investigators.
“Obviously, the department is supporting any way we can,” she said. “We won’t do anything to interfere and we will not speculate on any specific motive.”
Adrienne Jacobson, a department spokeswoman, said the first roll call for DOC employees was at 5 a.m. this morning and the governor sent out an e-mail to DOC employees about the tragedy.
“I would assume most DOC employees have heard by now,” Jacobson said. “It is heartbreaking.”